Local health officials are urging residents across Harrogate district to order their repeat prescription medicine well before the Easter holidays.
Some pharmacies are closed or have reduced hours over the Easter weekend so anyone who has a repeat prescription or takes regular medication should make sure they have enough in their cupboards for the bank holiday period. Minor illnesses such as colds, headaches and diarrhoea can disrupt your bank holiday weekend, so you should also be prepared for the most common ailments by keeping a well-stocked medicine cabinet at home. This includes keeping painkillers such as aspirin, paracetamol and ibuprofen for minor aches and pains; antihistamines for allergies, hay fever and insect bites; oral rehydration salts for fever, diarrhoea and vomiting; anti-diarrhoea tablets and indigestion treatment.
Dr Rick Sweeney, GP Lead at the local Harrogate and Rural District Clinical Commissioning Group is asking patients to consider all the alternative healthcare options available. “Being ill at holiday time is never fun and that’s why patients are being advised to order their regular medication ahead of their GP Practice closing on Thursday 13 April for the Easter holiday. For common ailments you should self-medicate where appropriate or speak to your local pharmacist many of whom will be open over the Bank Holiday. Make sure you keep a stock of basic medication for common health problems like colds, aches and pains which you can easily treat at home. Whatever your plans for Easter, it’s helpful if you have everything prepared, and that means remembering to order your repeat prescriptions as well as your chocolate eggs.
“It’s important that patients order prescription items in advance to avoid running out of medication over the longer weekend. However, if you do run out of prescription medicines and do not have a prescription from your GP, you may be able to get an emergency supply from a pharmacy. Many of the pharmacies across Harrogate district are open during the Easter holiday and people can find the pharmacy opening hours on the CCG website at www.harrogateandruraldistrictccg.nhs.uk”
Paul Twomey, GP and Medical Director for NHS England in Yorkshire and the Humber said: “Please plan to look after yourself and your health and if you are on a repeat prescription, make sure to order it in advance before Easter. If you are worried about your health, instead of booking a GP appointment your local pharmacy can help you with more than you might think. Pharmacists are highly trained health professionals who can offer expert, confidential advice and treatment for many minor health problems.
“If you continue to feel unwell after seeing your pharmacist, visit NHS Choices at www.nhs.uk or call NHS 111 for free, and specially trained staff will be able to advise you about what to do next.”
Bank holidays are traditionally a busy time for local health services with a spike in demand on the NHS. Patients are being reminded to use the most appropriate service this Easter rather than automatically go to A&E outside surgery hours. There are other services, such as NHS 111, out of hours GPs and minor injuries units that can help as well as your local pharmacy who can offer advice and help on many common ailments.