People urged to remember their prescription medicines during festive period

Thursday December 14th 2023

Dr John McAnaw, Head of Pharmacy and Associate Clinical Director at NHS 24

Dr John McAnaw, Head of Pharmacy and Associate Clinical Director at NHS 24.


Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

As the festive season approaches, NHS 24 is urging the people of Scotland to be prepared, and if they rely on prescribed medicines to make sure they have enough medicines to cover them over the Christmas holidays. Ensuring people don’t run out of essential medicines over this period will help them to manage their health during this busy time of the year.

Dr John McAnaw, Head of Pharmacy and Associate Clinical Director at NHS 24, emphasises the importance of being organised with prescriptions:

“December is a hectic time of year, and it is understandable that health needs such as ordering and picking up prescriptions can be forgotten about until the last minute. Every year over the festive holiday period, NHS 24’s 111 service receives a high number of calls from people who have either lost or run out of their prescribed medicine. To avoid this stressful situation, we are encouraging everyone to check their medication supplies now, order only what you need to see yourself through the festive period, and make sure you remember to pick up what you’ve ordered before GP practices and pharmacies close for the holidays. This will mean you can focus on enjoying the festive celebrations with your loved ones and help the 111 service to support more people who require urgent health advice.”

In addition to prescription medications, NHS 24’s winter health campaign ‘Healthy Know How’ also recommends that individuals keep some over-the-counter medicines at home to use for common ailments and illnesses, such as colds, flu, and sore throats. NHS 24’s advice is that people have some remedies readily available such as pain relief, as well as treatments to help with cold symptoms, diarrhoea, constipation, and indigestion.

Dr McAnaw continues:

“When buying over the counter medicine you should always follow the advice on the pack. Your local pharmacist is there to advise you on the most appropriate remedies to keep at home for you and your family, including any specific medicines you might need if there are children in the household.

“Pharmacies play a crucial role within the health service, and the Pharmacy Team can help support you and your loved ones to stay fit and well over winter. As pharmacies, along with your GP practice, will also be particularly busy in the run up to Christmas, you can help them to help you by checking your prescription medicines now, ordering only what you need, and avoiding the festive rush.”

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