With a few simple steps you can look after yourself and your family this winter
- Check your repeat prescription, order only what you need, in plenty of time.
- Know how to treat common illnesses at home.
- If you become unwell, NHS Inform can help with useful Symptoms and self-help.
- Find advice on how to stay healthy and well this winter, including ways to keep warm, with Healthy know how on NHS Inform.
- Find information about Covid-19 Booster and flu vaccinations on our Winter Vaccinations page.
- If you need to talk to a healthcare professional it’s important that you get the right care in the right place, which could be your local pharmacy, your GP or by calling 111.
View the different sections below for more information on how to look after yourself and your family this winter.
- Help When You’re Unwell or Need Health Advice
- Minor Injury, Illness or Urgent Advice
- Local Pharmacies
- GP Practice Teams
- Dental Practices
- Mental Health Support
- Local Councils and Community Advice
- Weather and Travel Advice
- Protect Your Home
Help When You’re Unwell or Need Health Advice
For information on common symptoms and what to do about them visit the NHS Inform symptoms and self-help area.
If you are unsure which service is right for you, visit our Right Care Right Place section for a guide to all local services.
Minor Injuries, Illnesses or Urgent Advice
Call NHS 24 first on 111 for:
- Healthcare advice
- A telephone or video consultation with a local healthcare professional
- A minor injuries appointment so you don’t have to wait if you need to be seen
To make sure you are going directly to the right service visit our full Guide to Local Services.
If you have a minor illness, such as a cold, an upset stomach or general aches and pains, your local pharmacy is the first place you should go for advice. Your local Pharmacy can offer health consultations and provide free medication for many common conditions without the need for a GP prescription under the Pharmacy First scheme.
Pharmacy opening times over the festive period
- Davidsons Chemist, 30 Main Street, Clackmannan (11.00am – 12.00pm) 01259 722635
- Callander Pharmacy, 334 Thornhill Road, Falkirk (10.00am – 11.00am) 01324 623688
- T A Mack. 107 High Street, Tillicoultry (11.00am – 12.00pm) 01259 750261
- Right Medicine, 37 Henderson Street, Bridge of Allan (11.00am – 12.00pm) 01786 832311
GP Practice Teams
GP Practices are dealing with very high levels of demand and are working really hard to prioritise appointments for patients who need to be seen urgently. However, its important to remember that you can now see a wider range of healthcare professionals at your GP Practice including physiotherapists, mental health workers and Advanced Nurse Practitioners so you might not always need to see a GP.
Reception staff have been trained to ask questions when you call so they can direct you to the most appropriate member of the Practice Team – so please be kind when you call as they are working closely with GPs to help get you the advice and treatment you need as quickly as possible.
If you’re experiencing dental problems such as tooth pain, swollen or bleeding gums, or an injury to your mouth, your local Dental Practice should be the first place you contact. If you’re not registered with a dentist, find your regional dentist helpline at NHS inform.
If you’re experiencing eye problems such as a red or sticky eye, blurred vision, or flashes and floaters, please contact your optometrist who will be able to assist you.
Mental Health Support
You can also call Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87, open Monday – Thursday 6pm to 2am and weekends Friday 6pm to Monday 6am.
Local Councils and Community Advice
Falkirk Council has some useful advice, as well as information on support available with energy costs including grants for people living in the Falkirk Council area. They have set up an emergency helpline which you can reach on 01324 506070. If your call is not an emergency you can email them via email@example.com.
Ready Scotland have provided simple steps to reduce the harm that unexpected events cause you. Their website contains information and advice about the ways that individuals, groups and local businesses can support their communities through challenging situations.
The British Red Cross is still available over the festive period should anyone need short term use of a wheelchair or commode. If you, or someone you care for is recovering from a short-term injury or ailment, a wheelchair can make a significant difference to their recovery, mental health and well-being.
Help during the cost of living crisis – If you need urgent help with money, food or fuel. Your local council may be able to help if you need urgent help with things like food, heating and electricity.
Weather and Travel Advice
Sign up to receive the latest weather warnings in your area directly from the Met Office. Or download their app for the latest information where you are. To help get the most out of their advice, you may wish to learn more about their warning system, e.g. what the colour of each type of warning means.
If you’re travelling by road, Traffic Scotland host an interactive map which provides information on all incidents, roadworks, travel warnings and more on Scotland’s major roads. You can also check live traffic cameras across the country to monitor road conditions before you set off.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) offers a live flood update service called Floodline. If you live in a flood-risk area or are concerned about flooding, you can sign up for free flood warnings by calling Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or by visiting their signup page.
Get the latest updates on your rail route with ScotRail’s live network map. Check the service on a single route, or see the whole network at a glance. Make sure you also sign up for JourneyCheck alerts on your regular journeys.
Think about how you’re going to get home when you’re out and about during the festive season, before you head out – and remember to consider any journeys the morning after. Even if you’re slightly over the limit, in the eyes of the law you are a criminal. There’s no grey area. Find out more at Road Safety Scotland.
Protect Your Home
If you are experiencing an unexpected loss of supply or emergency, you can check if it is on the Latest In Your Area map on the Scottish Water website. You can report any new problems, on their dedicated portal.
If you experience loss of power, call 105, which will connect you to the correct network operator for your region. You can also call 105 if you spot damage to electricity power lines and substations that could put you, or someone else, in danger. If there’s a serious immediate risk, you should call the emergency services too.
Police Scotland have a lot of good festive safety information on their website. Remember, the 101 number is to be used for non-emergencies when contacting the police and is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In an emergency, dial 999.
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service have some good advice on Winter safety at home including checking your smoke and heat alarms are working, replacing batteries if necessary.
Home Energy Scotland is an advice service funded by the Scottish Government and managed by Energy Saving Trust. People in Scotland can get advice about creating a warmer, more energy efficient home and reducing energy bills, as well as financial support, including grants and 0% loans.