With Christmas fast approaching, local people with long-term health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, lung and heart disease are being reminded not to leave it too late to get their repeat prescriptions.

Although many GP practices and pharmacies will be open between Christmas and New Year, many will be closed on the bank holidays and so it is important people check they have enough medication to avoid requiring urgent medical help during the festive period.

Speaking on behalf of the NHS Blackpool and Fylde and Wyre Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG), Dr Amanda Doyle, a Blackpool GP, said: “People with long-term conditions rely on their prescribed medication to help keep their condition under control.

“So if you or a relative have a long-term condition I’d encourage you to check that you have enough medication to see you through the festive period. If not, it is important to order more in good time – then you can get on with enjoying the holiday period in good health!”

Renewing a repeat prescription is easy. It can be done with a phone call to notify your GP practice or by visiting in person. It can be made even easier if you are registered for GP online services.

Most practices let you order a repeat prescription with just a few clicks. To find out more visit www.nhs.uk/gponlineservices

Now is also a good time to double check that home medicine cabinets are well stocked with over-the-counter remedies so that minor illnesses and injuries can be managed at home during the festive period.

If you do need medical advice for a minor ailment during the festive period, pharmacies can provide free, expert advice without the need for an appointment.

A full list of Christmas opening times for pharmacies across Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre, is available at www.whyaande.nhs.uk