Stay Well This Winter

With Christmas and New Year fast approaching doctors and pharmacies are reminding people to plan ahead and make sure they have the right medicines to see them through the Christmas holidays whilst only ordering what you need.

Those who take regular medication should make sure they have ordered enough to last through the holiday period or ask their GP practice for a new prescription.

Planning ahead like this is very important to help stay well and it also helps the NHS at a time when services are busy.

Lorraine Gray who is Chief Operating Officer at Integrated Care 24, the not for profit social enterprise, that runs run the integrated NHS 111 and GP-led Out of Hours services across Norfolk and Wisbech said: “Being prepared is essential during the Christmas period. We receive many requests at this time of year via our NHS 111 service for repeat prescriptions. If you have long term health conditions and if you receive repeat medication, please request them from your GP Practice in good time so that you are prepared for the four day Christmas bank holiday”

John Higgins, clinical pharmacist in Norwich Practices Health Centre said: I urge patients, if needed, to order their medication over the next two weeks to ensure they have sufficient medication for the Christmas period.”

Dr Anoop Dhesi, Chair of North Norfolk Clinical Commissioning Group said “Your local pharmacist is a valuable resource – they can provide advice, offer services such as contraception, over-the-counter medicines and of course can provide repeat prescriptions. If you have elderly relatives or neighbours, ask them if they need help collecting their medications.”

It is a message supported by all five of the Clinical Commissioning Groups (North Norfolk, South Norfolk, Norwich, Great Yarmouth and Waveney and West Norfolk). And it’s also supported by community pharmacies – many of which will be open over Christmas to help people who become ill and need advice and medicines.

You can see the full list of pharmacies open on Bank Holidays at

It is also important to make sure medicine cabinets contain all the essential items. Medicine cabinet the essentials include:

  • painkillers such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, including versions for children
  • over-the-counter cough, cold, flu and indigestion remedies
  • plasters
  • bandages
  • antiseptic cream
  • thermometer

For health information over the festive period please go to