Hammersmith & Fulham residents advised to visit pharmacy for winter illnesses

Christmas and New Year can be a busy time when mundane chores like checking medicine supplies can be overlooked. But local GPs are warning people to order repeat prescriptions early to ensure they have enough to tide them over the holiday period when many GP practices and pharmacies are closed.

Patients on repeat prescriptions are advised to request them ten working days before the winter break to allow enough time for processing by both GP and pharmacy. This means that all repeat prescription requests should have been made by 10 December.

For added convenience, patients are encouraged to register for GP online services to order repeat prescriptions or even book practice appointments from a smartphone, tablet or computer.

With the weather turning colder, people are recommended to seek advice from their pharmacist at the first sign of a winter illness, even if it’s just a cough or cold.

Older people can be more susceptible to developing serious health problems when it is cold outside so they are reminded to think about keeping their houses warm7 and staying active. At the same time, the general public is asked to keep an eye on elderly neighbours in the cold weather.

Dr Tim Spicer, Chair of Hammersmith & Fulham CCG and GP at Richford Gate Medical Centre in Hammersmith, commented:

“It’s important for patients that rely on repeat prescriptions to stock up in good time for the winter holidays. That will help them to stay well over the break.

“We recommend that people with an underlying health condition like bronchitis, emphysema, diabetes, heart disease, stroke or kidney disease; or who are aged 65 or over, take extra care in the cold weather.

“At the first sign of a cough or cold, it’s worth asking your high street pharmacist for advice. If they can’t help you, they’ll be able to refer you to a service that can.

“And if you’re eligible for a free flu vaccine, it’s not too late – contact your GP practice or pharmacist to organise it.”