CHRISTMAS and New Year can be a busy time when mundane chores like checking medicine supplies can be overlooked.

But Ealing GPs are warning people to order repeat prescriptions early, to ensure they have enough to tide them over the holiday period when practices and pharmacies are closed.

Patients on repeat prescriptions are advised to request them ten working days before the winter break to allow enough time for processing. This means all repeat requests need to be made by December 10.

They are encouraged to register for GP online services or even book appointments from a smartphone, tablet or computer.

With the weather turning colder, people are recommended to seek advice from their pharmacist at the first signs of a winter illness, even if it’s just a cough or cold.

Older people can be more susceptible to developing serious health problems when it is cold outside so they are reminded to think about keeping their houses warm and staying active.

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Neighbours are asked to keep an eye on the elderly in the cold weather.

Dr Mohini Parmar, Chair of Ealing Clinical Commissioning Group and a GP, said: “We recommend that people with an underlying health condition, like bronchitis, emphysema, diabetes, heart disease, stroke or kidney disease, or who are aged 65 or over, take extra care in the cold weather.

 “If you’re eligible for a free flu vaccine, it’s not too late – contact your GP practice or pharmacist to organise it.”

Some pharmacies will be open on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. Check here for details of pharmacies and opening times: