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Plan ahead for your meds say City GPs

City GPs are urging patients to plan ahead and reorder any repeat prescriptions ahead of the May bank holiday weekends.

This comes after a number of people in Southampton attended the Out of Hours (OOH) GP service over the Easter weekend, as they had run out of their regular medication.

While GP cover is provided by the OOH service this should not be used to order repeat prescriptions. Getting a prescription from your own surgery is always the best option as they have access to your full medical records.

Dr Steve Townsend, Chair of the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Bitterne GP said: "With two bank holiday weekends coming up in May, it's really important to ensure you have enough of the medication you may need over the weekend.

"Your GP practice requires at least two working days (48 hours) to process a repeat prescription request, so now is the time to plan ahead for the next bank holiday weekend on Monday 5th May – as GP surgeries will be closed."

Patients attending the OOH service when they run out of medication increase waiting times for those unwell over the weekend who urgently need to visit a doctor for treatment.

Dr Townsend added: "Clearly we don't want our patients to be without their essential medicine for several days but we would encourage people not to leave ordering repeat medication till the last minute.

"Bank holidays often put extra pressure on the NHS and we all have a responsibility to use health services appropriately so that services can run as smoothly as possible."

It may also be possible to get an emergency supply of medicine from a pharmacy for patients urgently needing some outside of normal hours. If you regularly attend the same pharmacy to get your medication, they will have records which can assist in dispensing an emergency supply.

Full guidance is available at - http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Pharmacy/Pages/Medicinesoutofhours.aspx.

For minor ailments and non-prescription medication, people can also seek advice from a pharmacist.

Pharmacy opening times for the May bank holiday weekends, will be posted on the CCG website and will also be tweeted - @NHSSotonCityCCG

There is a further Bank Holiday on Monday 26th May.