Time running out to order repeat prescriptions for the Easter break

By Barrie Hudson - 29 March 2023


NHS South West’s Chief Pharmacist is reminding people time is running out to order repeat prescription if they are due medication ahead of the Easter break.

Every bank holiday the NHS 111 phone service sees many more people using the service because they’ve left it too late to order their repeat prescriptions. 

Calls to 111 relating to repeat prescriptions account for about three percent of all demand, and this doubles during the Bank Holiday period.

Catriona Ketiar, Regional Chief Pharmacist for NHS England – South West leads the pharmacy service across the region and has advised that any repeat prescriptions due in the days over the Easter Bank Holiday will need to be ordered before Monday, 3 April at the latest.

GP practices and pharmacies will have limited opening hours over the Easter period, and many will be closed from Friday, 14 April to Monday, 17 April. 

Ms Ketiar said: “Running out of your usual medication can have serious consequences, especially if you use them to control heart and breathing problems or a long term condition such as diabetes, and spending time trying to get your regular medicines or having ill health from not having your regular medicines is the last thing you want to experience while you are planning time with friends and loved ones.

“We can all appreciate how easy it is when everyone is so busy for things to slip our minds or put tasks off until it’s too late.

“However, it’s really important to take a little time to take care of ourselves, and, if needed, family and friends. 

“By re-stocking medicine cabinets, knowing when your GP practice and Community Pharmacy is open and planning ahead for repeat prescriptions, people can ensure they have a more restful Easter period.”

Dr Michael Marsh, South West Regional Medical Director, echoed Catriona’s words. 

He said: “If you take regular medications, for whatever reason, and you are due a repeat prescription in the week leading up to Easter or over the Easter period, please remember to always request your repeat via your practice or the NHS app at least 72 hours in advance. 

“This enables your practice and pharmacy to have your repeat prescription ready in time for you. This is particularly important ahead of bank holiday weekends when health and care services right across the South West are likely to be even busier than usual. 

"By planning ahead it also means you won’t waste your time trying to access your medication when you would rather be spending it with friends or loved ones.”


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