Countdown is on to get prescriptions ordered and collected before Christmas
People in Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire nearing the end of their current supply of regularly prescribed medication are advised not to leave it to the last minute when ordering their next batch.
Most pharmacies in the region will close for Christmas on Friday 22 December and not open again until at least Wednesday 27 December.
This means that people in need of medicine for the festive period must get their prescriptions in by Friday 15 December, at the very latest.
After this date, pharmacy teams will not be able to guarantee that medicines can be ordered and made available for collection before the Christmas break.
However, to avoid the risk of unexpected delays, those who know their current medicine is coming to an end are advised to make a head-start and get their prescriptions in well before the cut-off date.
Helen Wilkinson, Community Pharmacy Clinical Lead, Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire Integrated Care Board, said: “Pharmacy teams are always busy during the winter months, and even more so at Christmas.
“Getting repeat prescriptions in early will help our colleagues in pharmacies across the region to manage demand effectively, and in a way that ensures everybody gets the medicine they need in time for the Christmas break.
“The consequences of running out of prescribed medicine can be significant, especially for older people and those who are vulnerable, which is why having an ample supply should be very near the top of everybody’s Christmas to-do list.”
A very small number of community pharmacies across Bath and North East Somerset, Swindon and Wiltshire will be open, albeit with reduced operating hours, on Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
Their doors will be open to any person needing an emergency prescription or urgent expert advice on how to care for a minor illness or injury.
Most other pharmacies in the region will reopen following the Christmas break on Wednesday 27 December, however it is likely that most will do so with revised opening times.
The short Christmas week will then be followed by another long weekend, with the majority of pharmacy outlets staying closed on New Year’s Day.
As with Christmas, a select few will be open for any urgent issues on Monday 1 January, with normal service at all sites resuming from the following day.
People can stay up-to-date with which pharmacies are open and when by following the ICB across social media, and by regularly checking www.bsw.icb.nhs.uk.