Be Health-Wise This Winter – Campaign Urges Local People to Plan Ahead

A doctor, a pharmacist and local children met up with ‘Owls’ in a Stirlingshire Woodland to promote the launch NHS Forth Valley’s Be Health-Wise winter campaign.
A dazzling light show transformed the 14 acres of woodland with a rainbow of projections at North Ballochruin Farm, near Balfron Station.

Pictured enjoying the magical experience are Dr Stuart Cumming, NHS Forth Valley’s Associate Medical Director for community health services, Killearn pharmacist Gillian Russell and local children (six year old Emily MacMillan and five year old Olivia Wilson).

The ‘Be Health-Wise this Winter’ campaign outlines the simple steps that people can take to keep themselves well during the winter months and also highlights where people can access local health treatment and advice over the festive period.

According to Dr Cumming, who is also a GP at Killearn Health Centre, winter is a very busy time for the NHS and the Be Health-Wise campaign is a really good way of reminding us how we can do our bit to look after our own and our family’s health and help keep our emergency departments free for those who really need them.”

He explained: “For example, common winter health problems like coughs, colds, flu, and tummy bugs can be managed at home by stocking up on over the counter medicines such as paracetamol and rehydration salts.

“It’s also important to remember that the Minor Injuries Unit at Stirling Community Hospital offers treatment to patients from across Forth Valley over the age of one and will be open every day throughout the winter period from 9am – 9pm. This includes Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and 2nd January 2017.”

This year GP surgeries will be closed for four days over Christmas and four days over New Year however a number of pharmacies in Forth Valley will be open on a rota system during this holiday period to ensure that local people can access medicines and talk to a pharmacist for health advice. Anyone who is concerned about symptoms and doesn’t feel they can wait until their GP surgery or pharmacy re-opens can call NHS 24 free on 111.

NHS Forth Valley Pharmacist, Gillian Russell said: “This campaign is a great way of reminding people about the excellent range of services provided by local community pharmacies. We can provide advice and treatment for many common winter illnesses and highlight what’s appropriate for adults and children. We would urge anyone who takes prescription medicines to check they have enough for the holidays and order what they need in plenty of time however if people run out of their usual medicines or dressings they can speak to a pharmacist about an urgent supply rather than attending an Emergency Department.”

Details of local health information and advice, including pharmacy opening times over the festive period, can be found on our Winter Zone .

General advice and information on how to stay healthy this winter, including self-help guides, can  also be found at or contact NHS inform free on 0800 22 44 88.