Prescription reminder for Wigan patients as bank holiday weekend and nurses' strike set to cause disruption
and live on Freeview channel 276
Every bank holiday the NHS 111 phone service sees huge increases in people calling about repeat prescriptions.
The NHS is expecting significant disruption, so people are being encouraged to know the best way to access care during that time.
Karen O’Brien, who leads the pharmacy service across North West, says any repeat prescriptions due over the May bank holiday need to be ordered immediately to ensure they are ready before the weekend.
GP practices and pharmacies will have limited opening hours over weekend, making it more difficult for patients to access medicines at short notice.
She said: “By re-stocking medicine cabinets, knowing when your GP practice is open and planning ahead for repeat prescriptions, people can ensure they make the most of the bank holiday and are well-prepared for the busy period the NHS is anticipating.
“Running out of your usual medication can have serious consequences, especially if you use them to control heart and breathing problems or a health condition such as diabetes and is the last thing you want to do while your friends and family are celebrating.”
Dr Paula Cowan, medical director for primary care, said: “If you take regular medications, for whatever reason, and are on a repeat prescription which is due over the bank holiday period, please remember to always request your repeat via your practice or the NHS app at least 72 hours in advance.
“This enables your practice and pharmacy to have your repeat ready in time for you. This is particularly important ahead of bank holiday weekends. Please help us to help you and avoid any gaps in your medication.”
Members of the RCN – including those at Wigan’s hospitals – will go on strike from 8pm on Sunday until 8pm on Tuesday, including NHS nurses in emergency departments, intensive care, cancer wards and other wards.
There will also be limited action by members of Unite at The Christie and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Dr Cowan added: “The combination of the upcoming bank holiday and strike planned by the RCN and Unite will create significant challenges for the NHS and it is vital the public are aware of the pressure the health service will be under and are aware of the best ways to access the NHS should they require care.
“Over the bank holiday and during the period of the industrial action, it is more important than ever that the public know to make NHS 111 Online their first port of call for non-emergency health needs. Urgent and emergency care services will be open over the bank holiday and the industrial action period and people should call 999 or attend accident and emergency services in the event of a life or limb-threatening emergency.
“For people who have a regular prescription, electronic repeat dispensing (eRD) allows them to get their medicines from their chosen pharmacy without having to request on a monthly basis from their GP.”