Be prepared for Xmas closures

All GP practices and health centres will be closed from December 24-27 and December 31-January 3.

Community pharmacies with one or two exceptions will be closed on Christmas Day and New Years Day.

Many will also be closed or open for a limited period on the other public holidays. Check with your local pharmacy to see when it will be opened or visit www.nhsborders.org.uk

If you or someone you care for is unwell and feel that it can’t wait until your GP surgery re-opens, when available your Community Pharmacist can help with most minor illnesses or you can call the NHS24 Helpline on 08454 24 24 24.

If the condition is immediately life threatening you should dial 999 for an emergency ambulance.

Dr Sheena MacDonald, Associate Medical Director & Chair of Primary & Community Services for NHS Borders said: “In these colder months, it is important for everyone, particularly elderly people, to take a few simple steps so they are prepared if they are unlucky enough to catch a cough or cold.

“Although colds and flu can make you feel really ill taking simple over the counter medication can often make you feel better – your pharmacist should be able to advise you on the best things for you to have in your medicine cabinet to take if you develop cold or flu symptoms.”

“If you do need to access the out of hours GP or nursing service you can do so by calling NHS 24 on 08454 24 24 24 “

The four key steps NHS Borders is encouraging people to take in preparation for the Christmas period are: to make sure your medicine cabinet is well stocked with remedies for cold or flu-like illnesses; get advice from your local pharmacacy- buy medicine for minor ailments and illnesses there and pharmacists can also help if you run out of any prescribed medicine; make sure you have repeat prescriptions- if you or someone you care for take medicines regularly, make sure you order and collect repeat prescriptions to ensure you or your family have enough medicine to last over the Christmas holiday period; finally, know when your GP surgery will be open.

General advice and information on how to stay healthy this winter can be found at www.nhsinform.co.uk or by contacting NHS information line on 0800 22 44 88.

Advice is also available at www.nhs24.com.