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The NHS in Coventry and Warwickshire is urging the community to order prescription medication they might need and know which NHS services they can access in advance of the May bank holidays.

This year, the month of May has three bank holidays due to the addition of the King’s Coronation weekend, which people may have factored into their social plans, but not their schedule for ordering repeat prescriptions. 

Healthcare professionals in Coventry and Warwickshire are reminding everyone to check their current supply and stock up on any medication they may need in advance.

The bank holidays are Monday 1 May, Monday 8 May, (King’s Coronation weekend) and Monday 29 May.

If the Prescription Ordering Direct (POD) service is your usual method of ordering, please be aware the cut off dates to order for the upcoming bank holiday weekends are 26 April for medication needed before 1 May, 3 May for medication needed before 8 May, and 25 May for medication needed before 29 May.

To order via the POD, visit the website and scroll down to complete the form.

Whatever your usual ordering method, whether that be through a GP system or the NHS app, please bear in mind it can take prescriptions up to five days to reach a pharmacy from the point of ordering – so act now if you know you’re running low.

Ordering medication in good time will not only help you, but it will also help reduce pressure on NHS services during these busy periods. Services across the region often see a greater influx over bank holiday weekends and it can be difficult knowing which service is right for you.

Altaz Dhanani, Deputy Director of Medicines Optimisation for NHS Coventry and Warwickshire, said “The NHS is here for you whether it’s a bank holiday or not, but we are asking people to help us by making sure they are well prepared and won’t be caught out when some services like pharmacies and GP surgeries are closed."

“People may well forget about the extra bank holiday, so we want to remind everyone to order prescription medicine well in advance, and to check they have medicine cupboard essentials like paracetamol, a basic first aid kit, and diarrhoea and indigestion relief.” 

He added: “We also want people to think carefully about the right NHS service for them if they do require medical help. Your local pharmacist can give good general medical advice and recommend the best over-the-counter treatment for minor health concerns.”

People needing non-urgent medical advice or treatment over the bank holiday weekends should speak to a local pharmacist as they are qualified health professionals, and many have a private room for consultations if needed. Remember that some pharmacies may have different opening hours or will be closed over the bank holidays. 

You can find a list of pharmacy opening hours for the Early May Bank Holiday, King’s Coronation and Spring Bank Holiday across Coventry and Warwickshire by clicking here.

If people are unwell and are unsure what to do, they can check their symptoms and get advice using NHS 111 Online. NHS 111 advisors can book you an appointment with an extended access doctor or an A&E timeslot if appropriate. For concerns about children aged under five, the NHS 111 telephone service should be used instead.

For life threatening or emergency situations such as heart attack, stroke, severe trauma, anaphylaxis, you should call 999 immediately.

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