Local health leaders are encouraging people to access the right services and order repeat prescriptions now, ahead of the Early May bank holiday (29 April to 1 May) and Coronation bank holiday weekend (6 to 8 May).
Dr Joanne Medhurst, Chief Medical Officer at NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board (ICB), said:
“The beginning of May brings two bank holidays when most GP practices and many pharmacies will be closed or have limited opening hours. We want to ensure people pick up their repeat prescriptions in good time, to avoid any last-minute panics.
“Even if you think you have enough, please double check so you can fully enjoy the bank holidays and Coronation celebrations without needing to worry about medication. If you have family, friends or neighbours who are unable to collect their repeat prescriptions, please do check to see if you can help get these for them.
“Don’t forget that ordering repeat prescriptions online or via the NHS App is a convenient way to get your medication without needing to visit a GP practice.”
Bank holidays are often a busy time for the NHS and planned industrial action (30 April to 2 May) will add to pressures on busy hospitals and emergency services.
Dr Joanne Medhurst added:
“Services are there if you need them throughout the bank holiday weekends, but please help us to help you by making sure you use the right one for your needs.
“Many very minor ailments are easily treated at home, so start by asking your pharmacist what you need in your home medicine cabinet and pick up basics like paracetamol and antihistamines while the shops are open.
“If you need care right away during the bank holiday weekends, including emergency dentistry, you can contact NHS 111 online or by phone for immediate advice and guidance.
“For the most serious emergency conditions, you should continue to call 999 or visit A&E.”
A list of pharmacies and their opening times can be found on the local NHS pharmacies page.
Information about the latest industrial action affecting the NHS can found on the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board website.