Are you ready for Christmas? Make sure your repeat prescriptions are on your list!

With Christmas fast approaching, health professionals are reminding people to pick up their repeat prescriptions ahead of time and make sure you have everything you need.

During the festive period GP and pharmacy hours are likely to change. It is important that if you, or someone you care for, needs medicine regularly that you order and collect prescriptions with plenty of time to make sure you have enough to last over the Christmas period.

Dr Linda Collie, Clinical Director, Portsmouth Place of Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board, said:

“The Christmas and New Year period is very busy for primary care services, like your GP and pharmacy. We are encouraging people to think ahead and support their local NHS system by preparing ahead of time.

“It’s important to remember that GP surgeries and pharmacies will be closed on bank holidays, and hours may differ on other days. If you have a prescription medication that you take regularly, it’s important to take this into consideration and make sure you have enough to see you through.

“Please make sure you order at least a week before Christmas to allow pharmacists enough time to process the request and have your medicine ready.”

Another top tip for winter is to make sure you are fully stocked to take care of any minor ailments at home. Make sure your medicine cabinet includes:

  • Paracetamol and ibuprofen, and equivalent syrups (such as Calpol) for children
  • Cold and cough medicines, and lozenges for sore throats
  • Mild laxatives to relieve constipation
  • Rehydration mixtures for diarrhoea or vomiting
  • Indigestion remedy
  • Thermometer to check for fever
  • Range of plasters, bandages and dressings
  • Antiseptic wipes to clean cuts before they’re dressed
  • Travel sickness tablets

If you find yourself unwell over the Christmas period, you can visit or call NHS 111 for advice. Always phone 999 in an emergency.

Many pharmacies also participate in the pharmacy first scheme which allows people who receive certain benefits to go straight to their pharmacist to receive treatment, for selected minor ailments, without needing to visit their GP to get a prescription. Find out more here.