20 Dec 2019
Being prepared isn’t just about having the presents wrapped and turkey stuffed, it’s also about getting your repeat prescriptions requests in and having your medicine cabinet well stocked.
The Christmas festivities will be underway before you know it but are you and your family ready for it?
Being prepared isn’t just about having the presents wrapped and turkey stuffed, it’s also about getting your repeat prescriptions requests in and having your medicine cabinet well stocked. And this is particularly important if you have a long term health condition such as asthma, diabetes, lung or heart disease and can’t afford not to have your medicines at hand.
GP practices will be closed on the bank holidays over Christmas and New Year. However, GP and nurse appointments are available at three hubs across the borough and appointments can be booked via a patients’ own GP surgery with appointments available on Saturdays, Sundays, evenings and on the Christmas bank holiday days.
NHS St Helens CCG Clinical Accountable Officer, Professor Sarah O’Brien said, “We have a large number of people in St Helens with a long term health condition and, along with everyone else, we’d like them to have a good Christmas and New Year.
“We really do not want them running out of their medication, becoming poorly and having to spend part of the festive break ill or, worse still, in hospital.
“It can be hard in the busy run up to Christmas to find time to look after yourself but it’s really important that you think about your health and get your repeat prescriptions in on time.”
During the winter months, GP surgeries as well as A&E see a massive increase in the number of patients coming through their doors.
Some are in urgent need of immediate medical help but others have common winter bugs that will clear up by themselves within a few days.
Added Professor O’Brien “If you make sure you’ve got a well-stocked medicine cabinet you can treat most minor illnesses, like sore throats, coughs and colds and upset stomachs, at home.
”It saves you a trip to your doctors surgery but also means that GPs can concentrate their efforts on patients who really need their expertise.”
If you do need to see a GP you can contact your own surgery to book an appointment in the evening or a weekend and the free telephone NHS 111 service can also help – and can sort a repeat prescription for you if you do run out of your medication over the festive period.
There are also local high-street pharmacists who are highly trained health professionals and can help with minor illnesses and complaints such as coughs, colds, flu, stomach upsets, aches and sprains. You don’t need to book an appointment with them and a number of them will be open on the bank holidays.
For more information on how to stay well this Christmas and for a list of pharmacy opening times please visit www.sthelensccg.nhs.uk