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ambulancenightPlan ahead and make sure you have a sufficient supply of your medication is the message from the NHS Out of Hours Service at St. Mary’s Hospital.

The Easter Bank Holiday weekend saw an overwhelming number of patients contact the Beacon Health Centre at St. Mary’s Hospital requesting a repeat prescription for their regular medication as they had run out over the Easter break.

Over 100 patients who requested the assistance of a GP over the weekend was for a routine repeat prescription which could have been easily avoided if people had planned in advance and made sure they had enough medication to see them through the holiday weekend.

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Lisa Burtenshaw, Operation Manager for the Beacon Centre, said: “We expect the Easter Bank Holiday Weekend to be busy as people visit the Island and return home for the Easter break but we didn’t anticipate the volume of patients attending the Out of Hours Service requesting a routine repeat prescription. We were receiving calls from patients as well attendance at the Walk-in Centre wanting their repeat prescription. We were also responding to requests for prescriptions from community pharmacies.

“It is important people take responsibility for their own medication and make sure they have a supply available at home at all times. I am sure those patients would have preferred to be outside enjoying the weekend rather than waiting to see a GP in a very busy clinic. However, despite the weekend being a busy one for us, the Beacon Centre and Emergency Department coped well, but it did put an even greater pressure on our services and meant some people had to wait that bit longer to see a GP.”

In total 1,017 people had contact with the Beacon Health Centre between Good Friday and Easter Monday. 356 patients were attended to over the telephone, 147 had a home visit by a GP and 514 were seen in the clinic. Other reasons for attendance at the Out of Hours Service included respiratory conditions, abdominal pain, tonsillitis and urinary tract infections. 455 people were treated in the Emergency Department.

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