With Christmas just three short weeks away, Brechiners are being urged by NHS 24 to make sure that they are ready for winter.
The NHS service started their ‘Be Ready for Winter’ campaign last week, with school children joined cabinet secretary for health and wellbeing, Alex Neil, and NHS 24’s associate medical director, Doctor Laura Ryan, in Edinburgh to launch the campaign.
The campaign advises people to make sure that they are aware of GP surgeries’ opening time, re-stock medicine cabinets, and check repeat prescriptions.
This year, GP surgeries will be closed on Christmas day and Boxing day, and they will also be closed on January 1 and 2.
Speaking at the launch, Mr Neil said: “It is a busy time of year, especially for families with young children, and it is easy for your health to take a back seat.
“By finding out what services are open and stocking up on winter remedies, we can prevent winter illnesses from spoiling the holiday period. It will also ensure that emergency lifesaving services are kept free for those who really need them.
“Last winter saw increased pressures including an early start to the norovirus season, an increase in respiratory illnesses, and increased pressure on A&E departments, and it is really important that you know who to turn to when you are ill.
“For some illnesses, your local pharmacist, GP, NHS 24 or minor injuries unit may be a more suitable place to go to rather than A&E.”
Doctor Ryan added: “I would urge people to take the time now to re-stock their medicine cabinet with items such as paracetamol, cough mixture, throat lozenges and cold and flu treatments, to deal with any winter ailments. Your local pharmacist is a good source of information and advice on re-stocking your medicine cabinet.
“If you need to visit your GP, try to schedule appointment before the festive period and submit your repeat prescription request in plenty of time.”