A quick reminder about NHS services over the Christmas and New Year period
If you or a family member rely on essential medication to stay well, don’t put your health at risk, think ahead and get your request for important repeat medication into your GP or pharmacy in good time.
Christmas is coming and GP practices in west Essex will close at 6:30pm on 24 December and re-open on 27 December at 8am then close at 6.30pm on 31 December and re-open at 8am on 2 January. However, the Evening and Weekend GP service is providing pre-bookable appointments for you to see a GP over this Christmas period – including bank holidays. Speak to the GP practice receptionist or you can call 111 to book your appointment.
If you are not sure what you should do when you are feeling unwell, use the FREE NHS Health Help Now website or app to see available local services, get advice or find the best treatment for your symptoms. Alternatively you can call NHS 111 for urgent health advice 24 hours a day.
If you have a GP or hospital appointment that you can no longer attend, please let them know in advance so that the appointment can be used for someone else.
When you collect your prescription it’s a good idea to look in the bag before you leave the pharmacy and hand back anything you do not need.
National research data suggests that around £1million a year is being spent on medicines prescribed to patients in west Essex which are not used.
Rob Gerlis, Chair of West Essex Clinical Commissioning Group, said:
“GPs and pharmacists from across the area are working together to encourage people to consider the cost and health implications of not taking medicines as they are prescribed, or ordering medicines which are no longer needed.
“Remember that most GP surgeries and pharmacies require at least 48 hours’ notice to prepare a repeat prescription.
“As well as advice from pharmacists and evening and weekend to GP appointments, don’t forget that the telephone service NHS 111 is there for you 24 hours a day, 365 days a year if you urgently need health advice.”
Free to use, NHS 111 advisers and clinicians will help you to find the best service for your needs, whether that’s an out-of-hours GP appointment, emergency dentist or even a referral to A&E. It’s really important to use the right NHS service for your specific symptoms or condition and NHS 111 will help you with this.
Your local pharmacist is an expert in medicines and minor illnesses and a great source of trusted advice on a range of health issues. As well as helping you to get the right over the counter medicine to relieve your symptoms, they will also tell you if something needs attention from your practice nurse, GP, dentist, your local minor injuries unit or urgent care centre.
Please see details of pharmacy opening hours over the bank holiday.