Don’t be caught by a four-day GP shutdown over Christmas

People who take regular medication are urged to make sure repeat prescriptions are at the top of their Christmas list - and it's a good idea to have a stock of over-the-counter remedies for colds and flus too.
People who take regular medication are urged to make sure repeat prescriptions are at the top of their Christmas list - and it's a good idea to have a stock of over-the-counter remedies for colds and flus too.

Don’t leave prescriptions to chance at Christmas, especially as the big day falls on a Monday this year.

That’s the advice this week from NHS Scotland, which is flagging up the fact that some GP surgeries could be shut for up to four days - Saturday, December 23 to Tuesday, December 26.

The last day for ordering prescriptions before the Christmas break is December 19.

John McAnaw, Head of Pharmacy at NHS 24, stressed the need for people who rely on regular medication to order it in time.

He said: “There’s always so much to get organised at this time of year, with only a couple of weeks left until Christmas, but it’s important to remember those winter health necessities on your ‘to do’ list.

“It’s a good idea to pick up some over-the-counter remedies for winter ailments such as coughs and colds and if you need regular medications, take a minute to check you have enough left to cover the holiday period.

“It’s important not to waste medicines, so only order what you need, and pick it up in plenty of time.”

NHS 24 is predicting a busy period, and is expecting more than 74,000 calls to 111, many of which will be about repeat prescriptions.

Community Pharmacy Scotland chief executive Harry McQuillan said: “If you do run out of medicines your local community pharmacy can help – take along your empty pack or bottle, or the repeat ordering slip, and in most cases they can dispense enough to last until your GP surgery reopens.”