Patients reminded to plan ahead to stay well over Christmas and New Year

With Christmas fast approaching, NHS Leeds Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is advising patients not to leave it too late to order or collect repeat prescriptions.

Local pharmacies and GP practices may have reduced opening times or be closed over the bank holiday period. This means it is important that anyone with a long-term condition or needing regular medication is prepared for this by having enough medicines to cover this period.

Dr Sarah Forbes, GP and NHS Leeds CCG’s Associate Medical Director, said:

“With GP practices, hospitals and pharmacies under pressure due to Covid-19 it is important that you plan ahead when ordering or collecting repeat prescriptions.

“You don’t need to order more than you would normally, but if you take regular medication, it is important to pick up any repeat prescriptions as many GP practices and pharmacies will be closed or have reduced opening hours on the bank holidays. Forgetting to take medication can have serious health consequences for some patients. Plan ahead this holiday to enjoy a happy and healthy Christmas and New Year.

“If you do become unwell over the holiday period you can visit your pharmacist, who can provide free professional advice for common illnesses like colds or aches and pains.”

GP appointments will be available throughout the holiday period for those who need them, but anyone with an urgent health issue should contact NHS 111 to speak to a fully trained adviser.

If anyone has any of the following coronavirus symptoms, it is important to stay home and book a test as soon as possible. Symptoms include:

  • A high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • A new continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

The CCG is also advising that people check their medicine cabinets so that they are prepared for winter should they become ill.

A medicine cabinet should include:

  • Paracetamol and aspirin, and equivalent syrups (such as Calpol) for children
  • Mild laxatives to relieve constipation
  • Re-hydration mixtures for diarrhoea or vomiting
  • Indigestion remedy
  • Travel sickness tablets
  • Tweezers and sharp scissors to remove splinters or cut bandages
  • A thermometer to check for fever
  • A range of bandages, plasters (various sizes), non-absorbent cotton wool, elastic bandages and dressings
  • Antiseptic to clean cuts before they’re dressed (bandaged) and most can treat a range of conditions including insect stings, ulcers and pimples.

To find GP and pharmacy opening times over the bank holidays, please visit


This post is based on a press release issued by NHS Leeds