I’m Georgina Praed, NHS Kernow’s head of prescribing and medicines optimisation.
This means I’m responsible for a large team of pharmacists, technicians and dieticians who support our GP surgeries to make the best decision for people’s care. We have developed many services to support people in primary care, and also work closely with pharmacists who can provide a lot of help, especially during the holiday season when we have a huge influx of people coming to Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly and either need an emergency supply of medication because they forgot to pack theirs, or they head straight to our emergency department because they don’t know which health service they need to use.
This morning, as I’m getting ready for work my husband announces he will be running out of pills in the next few days; it’s Thursday 7am! I grab the iPad, log him into his surgery via the online ‘waiting room’ and oversee him ordering his repeat medicines. Job done! Except they won’t be ready until Monday or Tuesday so I’ll check my handbag when I get home as I do keep some in a pocket in case we are out and he needs them. He takes regular painkillers as has had hip replacements and more recently a back operation but still needs a further back operation. I can in his eyes when he is in pain and needs his medication. I’m not worried though, as if he is short of medicines I can go to the local pharmacy this weekend, explain the situation and get a small supply to tide him over; it won’t be the first time we have accessed the community pharmacy Emergency Supply Scheme we provide in Cornwall.
Anyone can get in a tangle ordering medicines on time, so it’s best to check that you have enough medication to see you through the next few weeks to ensure you’re not caught out during the long Easter weekend. It’s also worth checking that family members, friends, neighbours, anyone, even pets (I have three dogs, two on meds but that’s a different blog), have enough to get them through the weekend.
If you do need to see a community pharmacy during the Easter break, here are the opening times