Dr Owl Takes To Spring Skies With His Easter ‘Health-Wise’ Tips

Dr Owl – the memorable and wise character from a national health campaign – will once again take to the skies today (March 16th) urging people in Forth Valley to take a few simple steps to look after their health this Easter.

Dr Owl was joined by five-year-old Freya Cowie from Dunblane and seven-year-old Jack Ozen from South Queensferry at the New Hopetoun Garden Centre to launch this year’s Be Health-Wise This Easter campaign. The campaign, which is run by NHS 24 on behalf of NHSScotland, is reminding people that by making sure they have a supply of over the counter medicines, knowing when their GP surgery is open and checking their repeat prescriptions, they can ensure they make the most of the Easter holiday weekend.

This year many GP surgeries across Scotland will close for four days from Good Friday (April 3th) to Easter Monday (April 6th), before re-opening on Tuesday 7th April.

After winter, Easter is the busiest time of year for Scotland’s health services. NHS 24 Medical Director Professor George Crooks said: “Easter falls slightly earlier this year and as such, there are still many common illnesses circulating within communities. The Be Health-Wise This Easter campaign wants to remind people of the small steps they can take to ensure illness doesn’t ruin their Easter.

“Being prepared by having enough repeat medication to cover you and having some simple home remedies available can make all the difference if illness strikes. It is also important to plan ahead for any required repeat prescriptions over the Easter break, so please order and collect in good time. We would also remind people of the wide range of health information available at NHS inform.”

Ms Tracey Gillies, Medical Director for NHS Forth Valley said: “With the school and public holidays during April, it’s important to be prepared to look after your health. This includes knowing when your GP surgery is open, planning ahead if you need repeat prescriptions and making sure your medicine cabinet is well stocked with common remedies.

“The Minor Injuries Unit at Stirling Community Hospital will be open every day throughout the Easter holidays from 9am – 9pm and no appointment is necessary. The Unit is able to treat adults and children over the age of one from across Forth Valley for a wide range of minor injuries including suspected broken bones, sprains and strains, cuts and scratches, minor burns and infected wounds.

“Local pharmacists can also offer health advice and treatment for a wide range of common illnesses such as coughs and colds, fever, sore throats and stomach upsets.”

Although many GP surgeries will be closed at Easter, hundreds of GPs will be working throughout this period supporting out of hours services across Scotland.

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

For more information, please contact Amelia Whittaker on 07816179816.

The four key steps that Be Health-Wise This Easter recommends this Spring are:

Check you have cold and flu remedies

Common ailments such as colds can often be effectively treated at home with readily available medicine such as pain relief, cough mixture and cold remedies. Parents are reminded to restock their medicine cabinet with child-friendly remedies.

Use your local pharmacy

Your pharmacist can offer advice or help if you need over-the-counter remedies or have run out of any prescribed medication. You can also pick up plasters and antiseptic creams to prepare for any minor accidents.

Make sure you have enough repeat prescription.

If you or someone you care for requires medicines regularly, make sure you order and collect repeat prescriptions in good time to ensure you have enough medicine to last over the holiday period. Only order what you need.

Know when your GP surgery will be open

Your local doctor’s surgery may be closed for four days during the Easter weekend from Good Friday to Easter Monday (April 3th– April 6th).