Health chiefs warn: be ready for winter

A MAJOR campaign has been launched, urging folk in Milngavie and Bearsden to prepare for the worst the winter may throw at them.

NHS Scotland says that by re-stocking medicine cabinets, checking repeat prescriptions and knowing when GP surgeries are closed, people can ensure they are ready when the weather turns nasty.

Alex Neil MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Health, backed the Be Ready For Winter campaign.

He said: “This time of year is always very busy, especially for families with young children, and it’s easy to forget things like ordering your repeat prescription.

“Just a few simple steps like finding out what services are open and stocking up your medicine cupboard can help prevent winter coughs and colds from spoiling the holiday season.

“It will also ensure that emergency lifesaving services are kept free for those who really need them.”

GP surgeries will be closed for two days at Christmas (Tuesday 25 and Wednesday, December 26) and again for two days at New Year (Tuesday 1 and Wednesday, January 2).

Dr Linda de Caestecker, Director of Public Health for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “Self-caring during winter can help people to fend off common winter illnesses and enables local health services to provide help where it is most needed.

“Common colds, coughs and seasonal flu can be treated by keeping warm, resting and drinking plenty of non-alcoholic fluids. Paracetamol and ibuprofen which are available without a prescription can reduce high temperatures and ease aches and pains.

“It’s also worth remembering that a pharmacist can also advise you on which medicines you may need, meaning you don’t have to wait to see a doctor.

“I would particularly encourage everyone eligible to arrange to get their free seasonal flu vaccination. This is the most effective way of protecting yourself from the flu.”

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