20 Dec 2021

With only a few days to go until Christmas Day, NHS St Helens Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is urging patients not to leave it to the last minute to order repeat prescriptions, to make sure they have enough medication to last over the festive break as well as ensuring their medicine cabinet is well stocked.

Many GP practices and pharmacies will have limited opening between Christmas and New Year.  The full list of openings between Friday 24th December and Monday 3rd January can be seen here

The NHS 111 service receives hundreds of calls every Christmas from patients who have run out of medication or don’t have access to simple medications to help with minor illness or injuries, which puts additional pressure on busy urgent care and out of hours NHS services.

For this reason, it is a good idea to check your medicine cabinet is fully stocked for over the festive period with over the counter remedies such as pain relief, anti-histamines, plasters, and relief for stomach aches and diarrhoea to enable you to treat minor illness at home.

Dr David Reade, local GP and St Helens CCG’s Clinical Lead for Urgent Care, said:

We know how busy the Christmas period can be for people and that it can be easy to forget about those other ‘essentials’ such as prescription and basic medicines. I would urge patients to check their current medication now and take stock to see if they have enough to last over the holiday period and into the New Year.

Many people with long-term conditions already order and collect their prescriptions well in advance of Christmas, which is very helpful. Ordering your medicines as soon as possible will make sure there is enough time for it to be processed and dispensed. This helps the NHS to reduce pressure on urgent care services, which are always busy at this time of year.

Ordering repeat prescriptions can also be done online with many GP practices. Getting regular prescriptions online can save patients time and avoid unnecessary trips to the GP. Use the ‘services near you’ search https://www.nhs.uk/service-search to check whether a GP or pharmacy currently provides this service.

Further advice on how to stay well and what to have in your medicine cabinet can be found at www.nhs.uk/staywell/

Find your nearest pharmacy and opening hours over Christmas and New Year up to Monday January 3rd on the St Helens CCG website here.