Karen O’Brien MBE heads up the pharmacy service across the region and has flagged up that any repeat prescriptions will need to be ordered before Monday May 30 at the latest.
Many GP practices and pharmacies will have limited opening hours over the bank holiday weekend, making it more challenging for patients to access medicines at short notice.
Karen said: “By re-stocking medicine cabinets, knowing when your GP practice is open and planning ahead for repeat prescriptions, people can ensure they make the most of the bank holiday weekend. Running out of your usual medication can have serious consequences, especially if you use them to control heart and breathing problems or a health condition such as diabetes and is the last thing you want to do while your friends and family are celebrating.”
You will need to check with your GP practice how much notice they need to issue a prescription. Most GP practices need a minimum of 48 hours’ notice to issue a repeat prescription. Any repeat medicines needed over the bank holiday should be ordered before Friday May 27, at the latest, to make sure there is enough time for them to be processed and dispensed.
Community pharmacies also generally need between 24 and 48 hours from when they receive a repeat prescription to prepare medicines.
Karen was awarded an MBE in 2021 in recognition of her contribution to pharmacy services. She worked as a pharmacist in Greater Manchester and has worked across the region, before being appointed as Chief Pharmacist in 2020. She has played a key role in the region’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic,
Karen added: “The easiest way to order repeat prescriptions is by using GP online services, via the NHS App or through your GP practice website. If you do not have access to GP online services, you can phone your GP practice to order prescriptions.”
If people feel unwell over the bank holiday weekend, they can check their symptoms and get access to advice using 111.nhs.uk online. NHS 111 is a free service which runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.