Advice issued as surgeries and chemists close for festivities

HEALTH chiefs in the Borders have issued a reminder that some key services will be shutting down at Christmas and the New Year.

All health centre and GP practices will be closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day and again on January 1 and 2.

With few exceptions, all community pharmacies will be closed on both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, with many opting to shut or open only restricted hours on December 26 and January 2.

Details of closing times can be obtained from the chemist or by visiting www.nhsborders.org.uk

And NHS Borders has published four key points for both the festive season and the wider winter.

They advise people to re-stock their medicine cabinets with basics to cover colds and flu in adults and children. People who use repeat prescriptions are reminded to ensure they are submitted and collected in time to cover the holiday periods.

The health body also reminds people that advice on minor ailments and illnesses can be obtained from pharmacies.

And NHS Borders says people should aways know when their GP surgeries are going to be open. Doctor Jonathan Kirk, the head of primary and 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 call NHS 24 on 08454 24 24 24.”

Advice is also available at www.nhs24.com