NHS England Urges Public to Order Repeat Prescriptions Ahead of May Bank Holiday

NHS England urges public to order repeat prescriptions by April 26 ahead of May bank holiday, as 111 calls surged 96% last year, highlighting the need for proactive planning to ensure uninterrupted access to medications.

author-image
Nasiru Eneji Abdulrasheed
Updated On
New Update
NHS England Urges Public to Order Repeat Prescriptions  Ahead of May Bank Holiday

NHS England Urges Public to Order Repeat Prescriptions Ahead of May Bank Holiday

NHS England - North West is urging the public to order repeat prescriptions by April 26 ahead of the upcoming May bank holiday. This advisory comes as NHS 111 calls for prescriptions increased by a staggering 96% during the 2023 May Day weekend compared to the previous weekend.

Karen O'Brien, chief pharmacist for NHS England - North West, advised that any repeat prescriptions due over the May bank holiday will need to be ordered by Friday, April 26. "Pharmacies may have limited opening hours and many will be closed on Monday, May 6, making it more challenging for people to access medicines at short notice," O'Brien explained.

Dr. Paula Cowan, medical director for primary care for NHS England - North West, also emphasized the importance of requesting repeat prescriptions by the April 26 deadline. This will ensure that GP practices and pharmacies have the medications ready in time for the bank holiday weekend.

Why this matters: The significant increase in NHS 111 calls for prescriptions during last year's May bank holiday highlights the need for proactive planning by patients. By ordering repeat prescriptions in advance, individuals can avoid potential disruptions to their medication regimens and alleviate pressure on NHS services during the holiday period.

Over the last year's May bank holiday, the NHS 111 phone service saw a 24% increase in overall calls, with a 96% surge in calls specifically for repeat prescriptions. Paul Johnston, senior service delivery manager for NHS 111, urged people to think ahead and ensure they have enough medication before the bank holiday weekend. He also recommended using the NHS 111 online service as an alternative to calling for non-emergency health advice.

The public is encouraged to use the NHS App to order repeat prescriptions, book and cancel appointments, and access health advice. By utilizing digital services, patients can help avoid putting added pressure on NHS services during the bank holiday.

NHS England - North West, one of seven regional teams supporting the commissioning of high-quality services across England, is spearheading this campaign to ensure patients have uninterrupted access to their medications during the May bank holiday. As O'Brien stated, "By requesting repeat prescriptions by April 26, we can all do our part to help manage the increased demand on the NHS during this busy period."

Key Takeaways

  • NHS England North West urges public to order repeat prescriptions by Apr 26 for May bank holiday.
  • NHS 111 calls for prescriptions increased 96% during 2023 May Day weekend vs previous weekend.
  • Pharmacies may have limited hours or be closed on May 6, making access to medicines difficult.
  • Ordering prescriptions early can avoid disruptions and alleviate pressure on NHS services.
  • Public is encouraged to use the NHS App to order prescriptions, book appointments, and access health advice.