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Pharmacy Opening Times for Christmas and New Year 2018/19 in Bucks

Please see below for details of which pharmacies will be open, and their operating hours, across the NHS Buckinghamshire CCG area during the Christmas and New Year period.

Where possible, please also plan ahead to make sure you get any repeat prescriptions ahead of the Christmas break.

Please note – pharmacy opening hours on Bank Holidays are voluntary and are, therefore, subject to change. There may be changes to normal pharmacy opening hours between Monday 24th December and Tuesday 1st January inclusive.

Patients are advised to check if pharmacies are open by telephone before making a journey.

Local pharmacy details can be found at www.nhs.uk under ‘More Services’.

And remember, you can also check our Health Help Now web service for more information on pharmacies near you, and other health services available in Buckinghamshire.

If you are still not sure what health service option to use, and it is not an emergency, call NHS 111 for advice.

You can also click here to view the pharmacy details below on an enlargeable document.

 

 

 

 

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Do you live in south Buckinghamshire? We need your views on the GP out-of-hours service

The out-of-hours service for patients in south Buckinghamshire is changing and we need your views on where you would prefer to go to for these appointments.

An out-of-hours service offers access to a general practitioner from 6.30pm to 8am Monday to Friday, throughout the weekend and on bank holidays.

These appointments are for people who need to see a doctor urgently. They are not for routine appointments. These could be via a telephone call or a face-to-face appointment, usually at the out-of-hours base or, in certain circumstances, at your own home. The service is accessed by calling NHS 111.

Dr Rebecca Mallard-Smith, Clinical Director of Community Urgent Care, said: “We want to provide a local service for our local communities and are working with patients and practices in the area to make sure that the out-of-hours service we provide can meet their needs.

“We would like to know views on the current out-of-hours service and also where people in south Buckinghamshire would prefer the out-of-hours GP appointment to be held.

“Members of the patient participation groups from the practices in the area have been involved in helping to shape our proposed options. We have tried to provide patients with a solution that is easy to find and where parking is available.”

Currently the GP out-of-hours service runs from 6.30pm until 8am on weekdays and from 6.30pm on Friday evening until 8am on Monday morning. People who need an urgent appointment with a GP, after phoning 111, can go to Royal Berkshire Bracknell Clinic in Bracknell or the Herschel Medical Centre in Slough.

We are proposing that from 1 March 2019 patients who phone 111 and need to see a doctor out-of-hours will be able to book an appointment at a local base in south Buckinghamshire, as well as Amersham, from:

  • 6.30pm until 10pm Monday to Friday
  • 9am until 10pm Saturday
  • 9am until 7pm Sunday

On the very rare occasion when patients urgently need to see a GP overnight (from 10pm until 8am on weekdays; from 10pm until 9am on Saturdays; and from 7pm on Sundays until 8am on Mondays), they can book an appointment by phoning NHS 111 and will need to travel to Amersham or Wycombe.

To help us shape the future of your local out-of-hours service a short survey is available here.

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Please don’t ask your doctor for medicines like paracetamol or ibuprofen*

In Buckinghamshire, the NHS spent £1,610,952 in the 2017/18 financial year on prescribing items like paracetamol, remedies for indigestion or heartburn, allergy treatments, vitamin supplements and cream for dry skin.  We’ve calculated that in Bucks this could have paid for:

  • 40 nurses
  • 11,364 MRI scans
  • 7,895 general hospital appointments

Medicines like these are easily available over the counter, often at a lower cost than the NHS is charged for them. Where possible, health services are asking patients to obtain these medicines themselves – it is quicker, easier, and will mean the NHS can spend more money on other services that will have greater benefit for the Buckinghamshire population.

Dr Shona Lockie, Clinical Director for the Medicines Management team at NHS Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Whilst we know that some patients genuinely need these medicines in regular quantities for long term conditions and they will continue to be able to have them prescribed; a lot of these medicines are available to buy over the counter from your local pharmacy often at a lower cost than would be incurred by the NHS.

“So we are adopting national guidance for our local GPs which we hope will reduce our spend on around 35 different medicines and treatments for minor conditions and ailments that are usually self-limiting or which lend themselves to self-care.

“We hope that we can free up resources which can be used for other, higher priority areas that have a greater impact for patients and help to ensure the long-term sustainability of the NHS.”

Speak to your pharmacist for advice on treating minor problems; e.g. coughs and colds, mild eczema and athlete’s foot. They will always tell you if you need to see a doctor. Patients who need these drugs in regular quantities or fall into an exception category can continue to get them on prescription.

If you visit your GP who then recommends you buy the treatment, please remember they are following national guidance.

Over the counter medicines are widely available at your local pharmacy or in supermarkets and include:

  • Vitamins
  • Antihistamines and product for hayfever
  • Paracetamol and ibuprofen
  • Cough and cold remedies
  • Eyes drops for dry eyes
  • Cream for dry skin

When required in small quantities or for a short period of time, it would be quicker for you to obtain and will create less pressure on GP appointments if you were to buy these yourself without a prescription.

Further information about this, including a full list of items and exemptions from the change to prescribing, is available at:  www.buckinghamshireccg.nhs.uk/otc

A patient information leaflet is available at:

www.england.nhs.uk/publication/prescribing-of-over-the-counter-medicines-is-changing

* Patients who need these drugs in regular quantities can continue to get them on repeat prescription.


For further information please contact: Neil Phillips, on 01296 382444 or out of hours on 07825430978 

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Changes to the way you order repeat medication

Many of our residents have a ‘repeat prescription’ meaning that they can regularly receive certain medication without having to see their doctor each time. Some people order these repeat prescriptions themselves, while others choose to use a pharmacy or dispensing company to order medicines on their behalf.

Depending on how you request your medicines, the way that it works for you may change from 1 August 2018.

You can find further information in our patient letter and leaflet below.

Changes to Ordering Repeat Medication _Patient Letter

Changes to Ordering Repeat Medication _Information Leaflet

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Planned operations and appointments in secondary care

As you may be aware, a number of hospitals in England have cancelled or postponed some planned appointments in order to treat patients with the most urgent need, due to the extremely challenging circumstances currently being experienced by health services as we begin 2018.

However, we would like to advise patients of Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust and Frimley Park NHS Foundation Trust (Wexham Park Hospital) to attend appointments as planned unless they have heard directly from the hospital to the contrary.

As with other areas of the country, all our hospitals are extremely busy and they are redeploying some staff to care for those with the most urgent medical conditions. However, this does not mean all planned operations and appointments are cancelled. If your operation or appointment is affected, the hospital will be in touch directly with you to let you know.

 

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Pharmacy opening times for Christmas and New Year 2017

Please see below for details of which pharmacies will be open, and their operating hours, across the NHS Chiltern CCG area during the Christmas and New Year period.

Where possible, please also plan ahead to make sure you get any repeat prescriptions ahead of the Christmas break.

Please note – pharmacy opening hours on Bank Holidays are voluntary and are, therefore, subject to change. There may be changes to normal pharmacy opening hours between Sunday 24th December and Monday 1st January inclusive.

Patients are advised to check if pharmacies are open by telephone before making a journey.

Local pharmacy details can be found on the NHS Choices website at www.nhs.uk under ‘More Services’.

And remember, you can also check our Health Help Now web service for more information on pharmacies near you, and other health services available in Buckinghamshire.

If you are still not sure what health service option to use, and it is not an emergency, call NHS 111 for advice.

To see a full list of all pharmacy opening times across all of Bucks over the Christmas and New Year period, click here.

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Bucks CCGs statement on IFR data and policy

NHS Aylesbury Vale and NHS Chiltern CCGs adopt the same priority statements as the rest of the Thames Valley CCGs, in order to provide assurance that patients have equitable access to health care.

The Individual Funding Request (IFR) data for Aylesbury Vale and Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Groups is a count of all the referrals that the IFR team process on our behalf, however they also provide us with a referral triage service and these referrals have been included in error.

This wide variation in data across CCGs is a result of differences in what is actually being counted by individual IFR teams, some of whom, as in Bucks, are delivering a wider service than typical IFR management.

Our use of wording on our website is not helpful; on reflection we can see this is misleading and will take immediate steps to ensure the process is more accurately described. In addition, we will work with our Thames Valley CCGs to ensure we all apply the IFR terminology in a more standardised way in the future, which should better reflect correct IFR levels.

The actual clinical policies implemented by Bucks are the same as those implemented across the Thames Valley, based on clinical evidence available and with legal and ethical support. They are not unique to Bucks and are commonly used by other CCGs.