Doctors remind patients of festive cover

A Southern Derbyshire GP is reminding patients to think carefully about their health care this winter by ordering and collecting any repeat prescriptions at least a week in advance of Christmas Day – as it is customary for most pharmacies to close early on Christmas Eve.
Dr Sheila Newport, Chair of NHS Southern Derbyshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is urging patients to ensure they renew any regular prescriptions and collect medication prior to the holiday period, as the majority of pharmacies and GP practices will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Running out of daily medication over the festive period could have serious consequences for patients who rely on them to control heart and breathing problems, she warns.
Dr Newport said:
“For many, Christmas is a special time when people enjoy being with friends and family so the last thing we want for our patients is having that time spoilt by not being able to take regular medication.
“For those with long-term health problems, taking daily medication is an important part of their treatment, and many are at risk of suffering serious attacks or hospitalisation if medical supplies run out. 
“At this busy time of year people may run short of medicines without realising that their GP surgery or pharmacy will be open over the festive period so we’re appealing to people to check now that they have enough daily medication to see them through the break. If they don’t, they should call into their pharmacist or local GP surgery in good time.
“If you 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 our free, 24-hour 111 health line. The winter period is one of the busiest times of year for the NHS so picking up a repeat prescription in advance could help keep staff free to deal with life-threatening emergencies.” 
NHS Southern Derbyshire CCG represents 57 GP practices and is responsible for the healthcare of 525,000 people in Derby and Southern Derbyshire. It is one of four clinical commissioning groups in Derbyshire.

Charles Malkin, Communications Officer

Tel: 01332 868954/07825 274111

Ref: SD/RHR/445

Published: 25/04/2014