Winter is a very busy time for the NHS and there are many services available when your illness or injury is not an emergency. Help us keep the Emergency Department for people who are seriously ill and in need of emergency care.
In many cases, your local pharmacist, GP, dentist or minor injuries unit will be able to provide advice and treatment. You can use our Know Who to Turn To section to find out who you should be seeking advice from when you are unwell.
Your Local Pharmacy
Pharmacists can provide advice and treatment for many common winter illnesses including coughs, colds, sore throats and upset stomachs. If you run out of your usual medicines or dressings your pharmacist may also be able to arrange an urgent supply.
A small number of pharmacies will be open for short periods on Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and 2nd January 2019. Details of opening times are available here
Pharmacists across Forth Valley are also able to provide free treatment for a range of common conditions without a prescription. These include urine infections, conjunctivitis, a number of skin conditions, skin infections and thrush. A full list of the conditions covered by the Pharmacy First service is available here or watch our “Meet the Experts” video below on how to get the most from your local pharmacy.
Minor Injuries Unit – (MIU) – Open 7 Days (9am – 9pm)
Sprains, minor cuts, x-rays for suspected broken bones, minor burns or infected wounds and many other common injuries can be treated at the Minor Injuries Unit at Stirling Health & Care Village (formerly known as Stirling Community Hospital). Open 7 days (including over the festive period) from 9am – 9pm and no appointment is necessary. The Unit treats patients from across Forth Valley over the age of one.
Visit the Minor Injuries Unit page for more information.
GP practices will be open as normal on Monday 24th and Monday 31st Dec 2018 and on the Thursday and Friday after Christmas and New Year. They will only be closed on Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th December 2018 and on Tuesday 1st and Wednesday 2nd January 2019.
If you think you need help and you’re too ill to wait until your GP Surgery (or dental practice) reopens call NHS 24 free on 111 for advice.
GP practices will only be closed for a few days at Christmas ( 25th and 26th Dec) and a few days at New Year (1st and 2nd Jan). If you need help that can’t wait until your GP reopens, or you can’t get to a pharmacy, you should call NHS 24 on 111 or visit www.nhsinform.scot
Mental Health Support
If you are feeling anxious, depressed or stressed then you might find it helpful to talk to someone. You can contact Breathing Space free on 0800 83 85 87 (6.00pm to 2.00am Mon – Fri and 6pm – 6am at weekends), the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 or NHS 24 on 111.
Further Information & Advice
Stay Well This Winter
Get the Flu Vaccine
If you or someone you care about is in one of ‘at risk’ groups for flu then contact your GP for a free flu jab. GPs are offering free flu vaccines to everyone currently aged 65 and over. Vaccines are also free for anyone who has a chronic illness such as heart disease and asthma, chronic renal and liver disease and those with neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis. Pregnant women, carers and children aged between 2 and 11 are also eligible for a free vaccination (children are offered the vaccine in the form of a nasal spray).
Remember flu is much more than a bad cold and in the most serious cases it can even lead to pneumonia which can result in death. The vaccine doesn’t contain a ‘live’ virus so it is impossible for you to catch flu as a result of getting the jab. It will also help protect you against swine flu, as well as the strains of flu circulating this winter.
Protect Yourself from Norovirus
Norovirus, which causes diarrhoea and vomiting, is also very common in winter months. So, another key step in looking after your health this winter is to avoid visiting anyone in hospital if you feel unwell. If you have diarrhoea and vomiting wait at least 48 hours after these symptoms have stopped before visiting. View this quick information guide on what to do if you have Norovirus.
General advice and information on how to stay well this winter can be found at www.nhsinform.scot or contact NHS inform on 0800 22 44 88.