We are aware of increasing requests for inhalers from patients who haven’t used them for a significant period of time.
Patients who haven’t used these for at least 18 months probably don’t need a prescription but may need them prescribing in future if they have a clinical need.
If you have been having symptoms but been essentially ignoring them, then please call the practice or go to Ask a Clinician (on our website) and request a telephone consultation with a clinician to discuss the possibility of restarting your inhalers.
There is a risk to the general supply of inhalers for those who do need them if we significantly change the normal prescribing rate and we are already seeing many stock shortages with these.
In the meantime for patients who do require an inhaler, we are advised to limit this to one inhaler where appropriate to help manage the supply chain.
We have been made aware of some inaccurate information circulating (especially on social media) regarding special ‘rescue packs’ of antibiotics and oral steroids for patients with pre-existing respiratory conditions such as Asthma or Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) (or even for those who don’t have either of these conditions).
We would like to reassure our patients that anyone who suffer with severe respiratory conditions already have these in place (along with the instructions how to use them).
Oral steroids are powerful medicines and any decision to use them would need careful evaluation by a prescriber, usually a doctor or respiratory specialist nurse.
Please do not contact your GP practice for a rescue pack unless this is something that has been previously agreed and prescribed by your medical team.
You should continue to manage your condition in the usual way and if you feel you have symptoms of COVID-19, please click on the following link 111 NHS COVID-19 or call 111 (online services should be used as a first choice) before doing anything else.
Please note that this is current advice (as of 23rd March 2020) and guidance around use of rescue packs may change as things progress.
The Clinical Team at Mickleover Medical Centre