RESIDENTS are being reminded to order their repeat prescriptions before Christmas approaches.

North West Ambulance Service is calling on people to plan ahead to ensure they have an ample supply of necessary medications.

Winter traditionally brings additional demand for health services and specifically, the service sees a spike in people who contact NHS 111 over the bank holidays, and many of those calls are from people who have run out of medication.

Statistics from last winter, December 2022 – February 2023, reveal that in Cheshire and Merseyside, NWAS received nearly 7,000 calls to the NHS 111 service for repeat prescriptions, making it the second-highest reason for calling during that period.

Paul Johnston, senior service delivery manager for NHS 111 service at NWAS, said: "Winter is always a busy time for our NHS 111 service, especially during the festive period between Christmas and New Year.

“This generally leads to longer wait times for people who have called the service.

“Running out of medication can have serious consequences, and we want to remind the public to order their repeat prescriptions in advance to avoid unnecessary stress and potential health risks."

To streamline the process, NWAS is encouraging the use of the NHS app for convenient online prescription orders.

Repeat prescriptions are also available to order via the patient’s GP surgery or on the NHS website.

If a patient does run out of medication, NHS 111 can request a limited emergency supply, but it’s always best to plan ahead.

Paul added. “We would always recommend using the NHS 111 online service over phoning. You answer the same questions, and it will tell you what to do next.

“It’s available on the NHS app and website at Depending on what you need, you might be advised to call 999, book a call back from a nurse or be directed to the appropriate medical support.”

NHS 111 online is for people aged five and over. Patients should call NHS 111 if they need help for a child under five.