Patients urged to stop stockpiling medicine
THE Moray public is being warned against stockpiling "just in case" prescriptions.
As the health service comes under immense pressure, Health and Social Care Moray (HSCM) is appealing for the public’s help to reduce the load on GP practices and community pharmacies by not requesting repeat prescriptions before they are due.
Practices and community pharmacies are experiencing huge demand as patients request repeat prescriptions before they are due, order items "just in case" and seek general information.
HSCM said Forres Health Centre had received unprecedented demand for salbutamol inhalers. It says many of these requests are from people who do not have lung conditions like asthma or COPD, or have not needed to use an inhaler for many years.
Many pharmacies have reduced their opening hours to allow time for prescribing to take place. The health partnership said queues can be expected and people must follow the social distancing rules.
Pam Dudek, chief officer, said: "We understand that people have concerns – but requesting repeat prescriptions before they are due is an unnecessary added pressure on practice staff and pharmacies.
"Many pharmacies are experiencing extreme demand with patients queuing inside and outside and not observing social distancing, which presents a further infection risk for everyone.
"There is no need for this if normal prescription ordering patterns can be restored and we would appeal to people to only use services for their core purpose and when they are genuinely required.
"That will allow us to provide services in a far better way for everyone."
Patients are advised that they should continue to take all prescribed medication as normal where possible, unless advised by a clinician to stop.