Patients are being urged to be ready for Easter by planning ahead for repeat prescriptions and using NHS services appropriately.

GP surgeries will be closed during the Easter weekend including Good Friday 3 April and Easter Monday 6 April. By re-stocking their medicine cabinets if needed, knowing when their GP surgery is open and planning ahead for any necessary repeat prescriptions, patients can ensure they make the most of the Easter holiday.

Dr Tony Naughton, Clinical Chief Officer of NHS Fylde and Wyre CCG, added: “The Easter holiday period can be a very busy time for NHS services. Ordering and collecting a repeat prescription in good time not only ensures you keep well but could also help keep staff free to deal with life-threatening emergencies.

“Should you unfortunately become ill and require medical help then there is a range of services available to you. By knowing more about the different health services available and what they offer, you can get yourself and your family the right treatment much faster. Avoiding unnecessary visits to A&E is important.”

Dr Amanda Doyle, Chief Clinical Officer of NHS Blackpool Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “If you or someone you care for requires medicines regularly, make sure you order and collect repeat prescriptions in good time to ensure you have enough medicine to last throughout the Easter bank holiday period.

“Making sure you have the right medicines in the first place could make all the difference when it comes to keeping well this Easter. Taking daily medication is an important part of treatment for those with long-term health problems such as asthma and diabetes and they are at risk of suffering serious attacks or hospitalisation if they run out of medicine.”

Residents who do become unwell over Easter and urgently need advice or medical treatment, but the situation is not life-threatening should call NHS 111. A fully trained assessor will listen to your symptoms, provide advice and if needed, direct you straightaway to the local service that can best meet your needs. The helpline is completely free of charge and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The NHS Walk-In Centre on Whitegate Drive, Blackpool, will be open 8am-8pm every day over the Easter bank holiday weekend. A wide range of minor injuries and illnesses are treated at the Walk-In Centre as well as emergency contraception and sexual health advice available.

The Same-Day Health Centre on Dock Street, Fleetwood, will also be open throughout the Easter bank holiday, 8am – 10pm every day. Appointments are required and can be made my calling 0300 123 1144.

However, many minor illnesses, ailments and injuries can be treated at home. Coughs, colds, sore throats, upset stomachs and aches and pains can be treated with a well-stocked medicine cabinet and plenty of rest.

If you are unsure on how to treat an illness or injury your local pharmacy can also provide free confidential expert advice and treatment for a variety of common complaints. You can find your nearest pharmacy by visiting the ‘services near you’ section of www.nhs.uk.

Many pharmacies will be operating under reduced opening hours over the Easter weekend. A full list of opening times for Fylde coast pharmacies can be found at www.whyande.nhs.uk