Health centre festive opening times

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BORDERS GP practices and health centres close for Christmas and New Year from December 24-27 and December 31 to January 3.

All community pharmacies with one or two exceptions will be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Many will also be closed or open for a limited period on the other public holidays.

People are advised to check with their local pharmacy to see when it will be opened or visit www.nhsborders.org.uk

NHS Borders associate medical director and chairperson of primary and community services, Dr Sheena MacDonald 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.”

And the local health authority recommends four steps to prepare for winter: restock the medicine cabinet, including remedies suitable for children; use the local pharmacy not only to buy medicine but also for advice; make sure you have repeat prescriptions to last over the festive period; and note when your doctors’ surgery is open and closed.

An NHS spokesperson said: “If you or someone you care for is unwell and feel that it can’t wait until your GP surgery reopens, 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.”

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