The Herald & Gazette have joined forces with GP practices in the area which form part of the NHS Coastal West Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). This week they are urging patients to plan ahead with their repeat prescriptions.
Did you know that one in four calls to NHS 111 and the GP out-of-hours service on a Saturday are from patients who run out of routine medication?
Doctors are urging people to check their medication regularly and make sure you have enough repeat medication, especially when bank holidays are coming up like Easter.
Over Christmas there was a 66 per cent increase in the number of calls relating to repeat prescriptions to the GP out-of-hours service compared to 2014 – that’s an additional 225 calls.
Coastal West Sussex, as an area, has one of the highest rates of calls to 111 from people because they have run out of routine medication, and we want to change that.
We want to make sure that the out-of-hours services are there for those that urgently need NHS help, and with a bit of planning, repeat prescriptions can be managed by your GP practice or local pharmacist during the week.
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.
The out-of-hours doctors should be 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 111 phone lines are already busy at the weekend and we want to do all we can to make sure that the right teams are available when people really need NHS help.
As we approach a four-day period when your normal GP practice will not be available over Easter, please think about what medicines you have and if you have enough.
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.
Pharmacies are open at weekends and in the evening – visit the CCG website to see the latest opening times: www.coastalwestsussexccg.nhs.uk
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