Health leaders in Milton Keynes are advising patients not to leave it too late to order and collect repeat prescriptions this Christmas.
Running out of daily medication over the festive period could have serious consequences for patients, especially patients who rely on them to control heart and breathing problems.
People are also being urged to use NHS services wisely over the festive period as many GP practices will have limited opening hours during the Christmas holidays and the majority of pharmacies will also be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Dr Nicola Smith, GP and Chair of NHS Milton Keynes CCG said: “Over Christmas, many accident and emergency departments and ambulance services are busy treating people who have long-term health problems and failed to ensure they had the repeat medicines they needed to cover the festive period. For those with long-term health problems, taking daily medication is an important part of their treatment, and many are at risk of feeling unwell or even hospitalisation if medical supplies run out. This is why we are advising patients to order and collect any essential repeat prescriptions at least a week in advance to avoid running out.”
Dr Ian Reckless, Medical Director at Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “No one wants to end up being admitted to hospital over the festive break so it is important for people to make good use of their community pharmacies to stay well this winter. This means not only being well-organised and ordering repeat prescriptions before Christmas and the New Year but also utilising the expertise of pharmacists if you become unwell to help manage winter illnesses, like coughs and colds. We want local people to get the help and advice they need to prevent them for needing the hospital’s services so we are ready to treat those that do quickly and effectively.”
If you do become unwell over the Christmas break, or need medical advice when your GP surgery is closed, GP out-of-hours services can be accessed by calling the free, 24-hour, 111 health line.”