Help us help you – medication during the winter months

Winter campaign: Medication requests during winter, Christmas and New Year

This week, Doncaster’s winter campaign places a focus on making sure that people have enough medication to see them through the cold winter months. Nick Hunter, Professional Secretary at Doncaster’s Local Pharmaceutical Committee explains why it’s important to be prepared.

At this time of the year, if you take regular medication, it is important to ensure you have enough in case you cannot leave your home. This doesn’t mean keep excessive stock; it simply means ensuring you have enough medication so that you don’t run out.

At Christmas and New Year, it is inevitable that open hours and availability of services can be affected. Whilst health and care services will always be provided, your local GP surgery will close for a few days during the festive period.

If you are prescribed medication, don’t forget to pick up your prescription before the Christmas holidays start. And if you support or look out for an older person, family relative or you are a carer, please help others to ensure they are prepared and have enough medication.

In December 2017 and January 2018, Doncaster’s GP out of hour’s service assisted 666 people with requests for medication on repeat prescription. Whilst this support will always be there for people that need urgent medication, a percentage of that GP contact could have been avoided if medication had been requested sooner.

Even if you don’t take regular prescribed medication from your GP, it is best to be prepared with essential medicines and supplies in case you get ill. Useful items include ibuprofen, paracetamol, plasters, thermometer and antiseptic cream.

In Doncaster, we are fortunate that there are 79 community pharmacies, some of which are open on bank holidays; please do make best use of them during the winter months.

I am delighted that this year’s campaign focuses on the importance of making sure that people have enough medication – not only for when it is cold but particularly during the Christmas and New Year.

If you do need help over the holiday period when your GP surgery or pharmacy is closed, call Doncaster’s Same Day Health Centre on 01302 123 3103 or the out of hours service on 01302 123 9990. Alternatively, call NHS 111 to get the right medical attention urgently or visit http://www.nhs.uk/.

So please do think about your medication before Christmas and New Year arrives.

Help us help you – stay well this winter.

More information on how to stay well during the winter months.