Following a busy Christmas period for NHSScotland staff, people in the Western Isles are being reminded to know when their local GP surgery or local pharmacy is open this New Year.
While GP practices re-opened on Friday, December 27th, after the Christmas break, the NHSScotland Be Ready for Winter campaign advises people to be aware that many GP surgeries and pharmacies will be closed for two days again at the New Year (Wednesday 1st and Thursday 2nd January), before re-opening on Friday, January 3rd.
NHS 24’s Medical Director Professor George Crooks, explained: “While NHS Scotland staff have been very busy over the Christmas period, it is important that people remember there is another period of GP practices’ closures over Hogmanay.
“It’s important that people know the opening times of their local pharmacy too and make use of the next couple of days to re-stock with simple home remedies to ensure they can look after themselves and their family if needed.
“Knowing you have remedies at home to help if a winter illness does strike can make all the difference and if your symptoms worsen while your GP surgery is closed, you should contact NHS 24.”
Many GPs will be working hard throughout the festive period supporting local Out of Hours services and Be Ready for Winter has the backing of the British Medical Association (BMA) in Scotland and the Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) Scotland.
Dr John Gillies, Chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners Scotland, added: “Cold and flu bugs are commonest between January and March. Be prepared by stocking your medicine cabinet with suitable over the counter remedies.
“If you are in a vulnerable group make sure you have requested a flu vaccine from your practice. Remember that your local general practice will not be closed for very long, but if you do need advice out of hours please look at NHS inform online or contact NHS 24.”
General advice and information on how to stay healthy this winter can be found at www.nhsinform.co.uk or contact NHS inform on 0800 22 44 88.
Winter health advice is also available by following NHS 24 on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates and tips.
The four key steps that Be Ready for Winter is recommending everyone take in preparation for their health this winter are:
Restock your winter medicine cabinet
Many children and adults pick up common winter ailments such as a cold or flu-like illness. These can often be effectively treated at home with readily available medicine. Parents are reminded to restock their medicine cabinet with remedies suitable for children.
Use your local pharmacy
Your local pharmacy is an accessible resource for you and your family. Your pharmacist can offer advice or help if you have run out of any prescribed medication. You can also collect medicine for minor ailments or illnesses.
Make sure you have repeat prescriptions.
If you or someone you care for requires medicines regularly, make sure you order and collect repeat prescriptions in good time to ensure you or your family have enough medicine to last over the Christmas holiday period.
Know when your GP surgery will be open
Your local doctor’s surgery will be open on Tuesday 31st December and closed for two days on Wednesday 1st and Thursday 2nd January 2013, before re-opening on Friday 3rd January 2014.