GP Practices and Pharmacies in the Midlands will be open during the Easter holiday period, NHS England and NHS Improvement Midlands has confirmed today.
GP Practices are remaining open during their usual opening hours on 10 April 2020 (Good Friday) and 13 April 2020 (Easter Monday), but it is important that patients do not walk into their GP practice. All patients are being asked to call their surgery first to make an appointment or to arrange a repeat prescription. Patients will be offered a telephone or video consultation initially and may be asked to go to a GP practice that is not their own if they do require a face to face appointment.
The majority of community pharmacies will be open on 10 April 2020 (Good Friday) and 13 April 2020 (Easter Monday) from 2pm-5pm minimum with some pharmacies opening longer hours. Local arrangements between neighbouring pharmacies have been permitted where they will result in better access for patients throughout the whole day. Visit the NHS UK website for the latest information on opening times in each area.
Community pharmacists and their teams are highly trained healthcare professionals and can give clinical and practical medical advice or over-the-counter medicines to help safely manage minor health issues such as: sore throats, coughs, colds, tummy troubles, teething problems and aches and pains.
Pharmacists have five years of training and are qualified to assess symptoms and manage minor illnesses and ailments. They can recommend the best course of treatment. If it is something more serious, they will direct people to the most appropriate healthcare service to receive the help they need.
People who become unwell over Easter and need advice or medical treatment quickly, should call NHS 111, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. By calling NHS 111, patients will be assessed, given advice and directed straightaway to the local service that can best meet their needs.
NHS 111 has an online coronavirus service that can tell people if they need medical help. Advice on what to do is available at www.111.nhs.uk/service/COVID-19/. It’s important not to go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. People should only call 111 if they are unable to get help online. More information on coronavirus, including how to avoid catching and spreading it, can be found on www.nhs.uk/coronavirus.
To find opening times for your local GP practice and Pharmacy, please visit https://www.nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-pharmacy
Important information on prescriptions during the COVID-19 epidemic
1. Order repeat prescriptions in your usual quantities at the usual time. Over ordering of your medicines may mean someone else has to go without their medicines.
2. Order your usual prescription online or by an app. Do not go to your GP practice or pharmacy to order prescriptions and only phone them if you cannot order online or by an app. You can order repeat prescriptions on the NHS App and through your GP surgery or pharmacy’s online service, where available. You can find out about ordering medicines online at www.nhs.uk
3. If you have a prescription to collect:
• If you are 70 or over, have a long-term health condition or are pregnant you should arrange collection by a relative or friend, or ask your pharmacy for help with delivery
• Ask any relatives and friends who are delivering your medicines to make sure they have seen you pick up the bag
• If your medicines are being delivered make sure you keep a safe distance when you receive them.
4. For everyone else, if you are going into a pharmacy in person, follow social distancing rules and the rules put in place by the pharmacy to protect you and their staff
5. Pharmacies may have altered opening times to manage their workload
6. Sales of some medicines may be restricted in quantity by pharmacies to ensure that there is enough for everyone.