Patients urged to order repeat prescriptions ahead of Easter bank holidays

Patients across Cheshire and Merseyside are being asked to plan ahead for the Easter bank holiday weekend (29 March – 1 April) by ordering any repeat prescriptions they might need early.

 The NHS is advising that repeat prescriptions should be ordered at least seven working days ahead of the bank holiday to guarantee that they will be available in time.  Using the NHS App is the quickest and easiest way to order repeat prescriptions at a time that is convenient to you, and it puts you in greater control of your own health.

 You can also use it to choose which pharmacy you’d like your medication to be sent to, and to track the progress of your order.

 Susanne Lynch MBE, NHS Cheshire and Merseyside’s Chief Pharmacist said:

 “Please remember to plan ahead and order any repeat prescriptions in plenty of time before the Easter bank holiday period when GP practices are closed, and some pharmacies will also be closed or opening with reduced hours.

 “Don’t wait for your prescription to run out, as it can take time for your request to be approved by your GP practice and dispensed by your pharmacy. We advise planning around seven days in advance.”

 In addition to planning ahead, people are also being urged to make sure that they know how to access urgent care if they need to over the Easter weekend, and to support the safe and timely discharge of loved ones who are ready to leave hospital.

 NHS Cheshire and Merseyside’s Deputy Medical Director, Dr Fiona Lemmens is urging people to use NHS 111 for all non-emergency healthcare needs.

 “We want to remind people that our hospitals can often become very busy over a long bank holiday weekend, and to make NHS 111 their first point of call for all non-emergency healthcare treatment and advice. The service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 111 or online at:

 “You should still call 999 or go to A&E in an emergency situation when someone is seriously ill or injured, and their life may be at risk. But if you need any other medical help and you’re not sure where to go, please use NHS 111 to get assessed and quickly directed to the right place for you.”

 If needed, NHS 111 can also arrange a call back from a nurse, doctor, or paramedic or they can book you an appointment at a local pharmacy, urgent treatment centre, or hospital A&E department. 

 The NHS across Cheshire and Merseyside is also working extremely hard behind the scenes to ensure that all patients who are fit enough to return home from hospital in time for Easter can do so safely. 

 Dr Fiona Lemmens adds, “We know that it’s much better for a patient’s physical health and mental wellbeing to leave hospital as soon as they can, once they are medically ready to go home. So if you have a family member who is being discharged, please work with hospital staff to make sure this happens as quickly as it possibly can. Not only is this better for them, but it also helps make that bed space available for the next patient who might need to be admitted.”

 For advice and treatment for minor health concerns, people are also reminded to visit an NHS walk-in or urgent treatment centre, or to think about using the new ‘Pharmacy First’ service, which allows pharmacists to assess and treat patients for common conditions – without the need for a GP appointment or prescription first.

 Simply drop in to your local pharmacy and ask for advice – but do remember to call ahead to check their bank holiday opening hours. You can search for your nearest pharmacy and find out their opening times at:

 Parents and carers are also reminded that if your child is unwell, you can  visit the Alder Hey online symptom checker which includes helpful advice on how to treat your child at home, and when to seek further medical help at:

 More information about when to visit urgent treatment centres, when to call 999 and when to go to A&E is available via the national NHS website at:

You can also watch Dr Sinead Clarke, Associate Medical Director for NHS Cheshire and Merseyside providing three tips for Easter Bank Holiday access to services here:

Content provided by Healthwatch Sefton.

Published on Wed, 20 Mar 2024 09:00:08 GMT
Modified on Mon, 25 Mar 2024 09:59:46 GMT