Doctors across Sussex are calling for people to check their medication and make sure they have enough of their repeat prescriptions to last over the August bank holiday weekend.
GP surgeries will be closed from Saturday, August 27 until Tuesday, August 30.
Latest figures continue to show that one in four calls to the urgent GP out-of-hours service on a Saturday is due to people running out of routine medication, and this bank holiday the local NHS wants to make sure that service is available for those that urgently need it.
Due to the bank holiday weekend there will be a three-day period when GP practices will be unavailable, so people are being asked to check their medications and make sure they have enough to last over this time.
n Check your medicines supplies – have you got enough?
n Order your repeat prescription from the surgery or pharmacy by Monday, August 22, if you will need medicines before September.
n Talk to your pharmacy if you need help with repeat medicines or more information.
Dr Mark Reynolds, IC24 medical director, said: “Out-of-hours doctors are available for people who need urgent medical help and treatment; the service is not designed for more routine problems like repeat prescriptions. At the moment, the NHS 111 phone lines are busy at the weekend with people who need repeat prescriptions, with hundreds of people calling for medicines that they have run out of.
“We want to do all we can to make sure that the right teams are available when you really need NHS help, and we can make sure you get the support you need.
“Coastal West Sussex, as an area, has one of the highest rates of calls to NHS 111 from people because they have run out of routine medication, and we want to change that.
“As we approach a three-day period when your normal GP practice will not be available, we want to make sure that NHS services are available for people who need help, and you don’t have to wait any longer than necessary if you are trying to get an appointment with an out-of-hours doctor.
“With this in mind, if you do need regular medicines please plan ahead and think about your repeat prescriptions this week.
“If you don’t have enough, please speak to your GP practice or local pharmacist and make sure you can get what you need.”
If you do need help or advice over the bank holiday you can get free, expert, quick information from your local pharmacies.
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