“Be prepared, order early and collect on time” is the advice from the NHS in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland, as people are reminded to make sure they order their repeat prescriptions early, ahead of the two bank holidays on 1 and 8 May.
GP practices and many community pharmacies will be closed on the two bank holiday Mondays, and people on regular medication are advised to avoid being caught short and running out of supplies.
Anyone taking regular prescription medication, should make sure they have enough to last and, if they need more, they should request a repeat prescription immediately. People can order their medication using the NHS App, or through their GP practice, which will also have an online service.
The Friday before a bank holiday is always a very busy day for GP practices and pharmacies, and last minute orders put a strain on pharmacy resources, with the risk that people may not be able to get hold of their medication in time. Ordering early will save time and will make sure people can collect their medicine from their nearest pharmacy and not have to travel further.
For all urgent health needs over the bank holiday, people are advised to use NHS111 online www.111.nhs.uk or they can phone 111. This service provides self-care advice on common ailments and, if necessary, they can arrange for you to see a nurse or doctor at a local urgent care service. NHS111 online can also be used for emergency repeat prescription guidance.
The Get in the Know website helps people in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland to get the right care as quickly as possible when they are unwell or injured, with all the information on local urgent care services in one place. Visit: https://leicesterleicestershireandrutland.icb.nhs.uk/your-health/get-in-the-know
Additionally, local community pharmacists are qualified health professionals and are the right people to see for advice on minor ailments and for over-the-counter medicines. Bank holiday opening times for pharmacists in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland are available at: https://www.england.nhs.uk/midlands/nhs-england-and-nhs-improvement-midlands-work/bank-holiday-pharmacy-opening-times/.
For mental health support, the Central Access Point (CAP), which is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, can arrange for you to speak to someone who can assess your needs and provide advice or refer you directly to an appropriate service. In Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland you can contact CAP on 0116 295 3060 and 0808 800 3302.
The 999 service should only be used for an urgent, life threatening, medical situation, where emergency assistance is required.
The NHS is open, even when GP practices are closed, so if you have an urgent care need there is no need to wait all weekend – seek help when you need it and get the right care, at the right time, in the right place.