We are advising patients to order their repeat medication in good time, to avoid running out over the Easter Bank Holiday.

During the long Bank Holiday weekends, we experience much higher volumes of calls into our NHS 111 contact centres, due to local GP surgeries being closed.

To help reduce demand across the whole health economy, we are recommending that patients who are on regular medication speak to their GP or pharmacist in good time to ensure that they have enough medication to see them through the Easter Bank Holiday, when many GP surgeries and pharmacies will be closed, and into the following week as GP surgeries will be extra busy following the break.

Dr Andrew Catto, Chief Medical Officer at IC24, said: ‘Our NHS 111 service is free to call, and available 24/7 when patients need medical help fast but it is not an emergency situation. However, during Bank Holiday weekends we receive a very high volume of calls from patients who have run out of routine repeat medication and need help accessing a repeat prescription.’

Dr Catto continued: ‘The best advice we can give patients is to try and plan ahead as much as possible. By ensuring that you have enough repeat medication to see you through the Easter break you will not only help reduce the strain on local health services, but you will give yourself the best chance of staying well.’