Over the Christmas and New Year bank holidays most pharmacists and GP surgeries will be closed so the advice is to plan ahead and order repeat prescriptions at least five days before the start of the festivities.

Dr Ed Capo-Bianco, Urgent Care Lead at Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “To stay well you should plan ahead for repeat prescriptions you’ll need over the holiday break, so please order early and collect in good time.”

Ed said: “Having a winter plan will also help you stay well over the holidays. This can include having a free flu vaccination if you are eligible, ensuring your medicine cabinet is well stocked up to treat minor ailments like coughs and colds and upset stomachs, and getting help from a pharmacist before a condition gets worse.”

He added: “Please keep an eye out for elderly family members and neighbours over Christmas and New Year especially if the weather is cold. There is a lot you can do to help people who are frail and vulnerable, like calling round to see if they need anything or to make sure their home is heated to at least 18°C.”

If you need advice when your GP surgery or pharmacy is closed, call NHS 111 and speak to a call handler who will be able to direct you to a local service that is open. You can also visit NHS 111 online for advice and support at 111.nhs.uk.

To see which pharmacies are open over the Christmas and New Year holidays click here or visit: https://www.oxfordshireccg.nhs.uk/your-health/choose-the-right-service/pharmacy.htm

You can also visit the NHS website to find a pharmacy near you at: https://www.nhs.uk

Or, you can download the Oxfordshire CCG app ‘Health and Care Oxfordshire’ to find your nearest pharmacy. It can be downloaded from the App store (see here) and Google Play (see here)