Medicines advice for Bank Holiday Friday 8 May

Medicines advice for Bank Holiday Friday 8 May

May 4, 2020

Residents across Sussex and Surrey are urged to plan ahead for shorter pharmacy opening hours on Friday (8 May)

People with shielded health conditions

Should check they have enough medication to last until their next prescription can be prepared by their pharmacy after the long weekend. If they don’t, they should urgently contact their GP to ask for a prescription and alert their pharmacy and a friend or family member to arrange the collection of any required medication.

Friends or family members should check pharmacy opening hours before going to collect any prescriptions. They can do that here and/or here. They should also have the required identity documents, and payment (if required) to make the collection. They can find out more about this here.

Friends or family members should be advised that they may have to queue outside pharmacies to observe social distancing guidance, and there may be a longer wait than usual to collect the prescriptions. Please ask them to plan ahead accordingly.

People with other long-term health conditions
Should ensure they have enough medication to last until their next prescription can be prepared by their pharmacy after the long weekend and if not, arrange to order and collect their repeat prescriptions beforehand.

Bank holiday checklist for everyone
Do not stockpile medication because of the long weekend but ensure you have what you need.
If you can, try to have the basic self-help medicines at home such as a first aid kit, paracetamol and a thermometer.
If you have a regular prescription, make sure you have enough to last you until you’re able to visit your pharmacy after the long weekend.

If you need medical assistance over bank holiday weekend

  • For any serious condition or a life threatening emergency other than suspected Coronavirus dial 999 immediately or go to your nearest A&E department
  • For any minor condition that is not suspected Coronavirus and is not an emergency, call NHS 111, visit, or go to see your local pharmacy.
  • Pharmacists are healthcare experts who can give qualified clinical advice. Go to the NHS UK website to search for a pharmacy near you and to check opening hour
  • If you suspect that you or someone in your household has Coronavirus and needs medical attention over the long weekend, follow current NHS guidelines:
    • Do not go to a pharmacy or hospital
    • If you have symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature or a new, continuous cough), use the 111 coronavirus service

For more information

  • Patients should, in the first instance, ask friends, relatives, and neighbours to collect medicines for
    them, if this is not possible because friends, family and neighbours are vulnerable or isolating themselves
    patients should contact their local authority community hub to ask for a community volunteer to go to
    pharmacy to collect medicines for them. Here is advice on what to do if you are collecting a
    prescription for someone
  • A queue outside a pharmacy does not necessarily mean the pharmacy is struggling to cope.
    • Procedures such as one-in-one-out of the premises are displacing patients and customers outside as
      social distancing and infection control measures have been put in place in pharmacies to protect staff
      and patients during these exceptional times.
    • Pharmacies do a lot more than dispense medicines. They offer health services that many of us aren’t
      aware of, and as one of the few frontline NHS services still seeing and treating patients face-to-face
      staff may be dealing with, and treating patients, who need medical help for non Covid-19 issues
  • On Friday 1 May NHS England and NHS Improvement (NHSE&I) announced that pharmacies are required to open for 3 hours, between 2pm and 5pm, on Friday 8th May 2020, as part of the NHS response to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, local flexibility is permitted if agreed in advance with the NHSE&I regional team, based on the likely demand and local needs. Some pharmacies have already been granted temporary closure. Pharmacies are obliged to make sure entries on the NHS website are correct, and patients and/or their representatives are urged to check before setting out to visit a pharmacy.

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