Think twice before stockpiling medicine this winter
Residents are being urged to think twice before over ordering medication this festive period.
Often, this over ordering results in medicines being unused and thrown away – at great expense to the NHS.
This year, Lincolnshire GPs have extended access to their practices for the first time over the Christmas period.
This provides patients with additional clinic slots and supports medicine waste reductions by reducing the need to stockpile medication.
GP Extended Access
Dr Sunil Hindocha, chief clinical officer at NHS Lincolnshire West Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “During the festive period, often patients think they need to ‘stock up’ on their medication as the local GP practice and pharmacy isn’t open.
“This year, for the first time, we have the GP Extended Access service in operation. This means routine appointments will be available at evenings, weekends and Bank Holidays.
“So, patients shouldn’t need to stock up on their prescriptions in advance of Christmas, as they will be able to see their GP if they need more.
“To book an extended access appointment, contact your surgery. They will advise you when and where they are available in your area.”
Over the counter
Dr Hindocha also said patients can help save the NHS money by considering buying some medication over the counter rather than on prescription.
He said: “Many common conditions we see patients presenting with at this time of year can be treated via self-care.
“This can involve taking paracetamol, ibuprofen or other medicines that can be bought over the counter, as well as taking it easy and resting.
“If you have a condition that can be treated through self-care this winter, please think twice before getting medicines on prescriptions.
“Often, they are cheaper over the counter. Not only will this save the NHS money, it will save patients from travelling to their surgery.
“Their local pharmacist will be able to help.”
There are a range of alternative services available this winter to help you with your medical needs. These include pharmacies, GP practices, NHS 111 and self-care.
To find out more, download the ASAPLincs app or visit www.asaplincs.nhs.uk