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Patients urged to order repeat prescriptions in time

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People taking regular medication are being urged not to wait until it's too late to order their repeat prescriptions.

GPs and pharmacists across the North East and North Cumbria are reminding patients, who rely on prescribed medicines, to make sure they organise their repeat medication in plenty of time to stay well and avoid increased cost and pressures on NHS services.

Ewan Maule, clinical director of medicines and pharmacy, NHS North East and North Cumbria Integrated Care Board (ICB) said: "If you take regular medication it's extremely important to plan ahead and order your repeat prescriptions in plenty of time.

"Taking daily medication is a vitally important part of treatment, especially for those with long-term health problems and people can become seriously ill, quite quickly, if they run out.

"Not ordering in time and having to use emergency medication services not only puts patients at risk, it also puts increased pressure on already stretched NHS services and local healthcare budgets".

With GP practices and community pharmacies having limited opening hours over bank holiday periods, doctors are also reminding people that any repeat prescriptions should be ordered at least a week in advance of any holiday weekends to guarantee they will be available on time.

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Dr Neil O'Brien, chief medical officer, NHS North East and North Cumbria ICB, added: "Every year, particularly over bank holidays, NHS111 receives thousands of calls from people who have either lost or run out of their prescribed medicine.

"If you take regular medications, for whatever reason, and if you are due a repeat prescription over a bank holiday, please remember to always request your repeat via your practice or the NHS app at least a week in advance.

"In some cases, it may take longer than seven days to order your prescription and have it dispensed so please check first with your GP practice and pharmacy.

"The easiest way to order repeat prescriptions is by using GP online services, the NHS App or through your own GP practice website. If you do not have access to GP online services, you can contact your GP practice to order prescriptions directly.

"Remember NHS111 is available 24 hours a day, seven days week, to offer help and advice on a whole range of medical problems, when your GP surgery is closed, - arranging your repeat prescription before you run out will help to avoid any additional pressure on this vital service and other NHS resources."

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