Healthy Know How to Keep Well This Winter

People across Forth Valley are being encouraged to include health as part of their festive preparations so that seasonal illnesses can be managed well at home.

It is hoped that by following the tips and advice in the ‘Healthy Know How’ campaign people can enjoy the festivities without having to seek health advice unless it is urgent or an emergency.

Launching the new national campaign, Humza Yousaf, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care said: “Nobody wants to be unwell, especially over the festive holidays, and these few simple steps can help everyone manage common illnesses and avoid the need to interrupt the festivities with a trip to the pharmacy or GP.

“This is going to be the most challenging winter for our health service, and a lot of the ailments for which people access out-of-hours care can be easily managed at home. NHS 24’s 111 service is always busy over the holiday period, but roughly a third of calls to 111 result in safe, self-care advice at home. If this campaign can encourage people to care for common seasonal conditions at home, that will leave our frontline services free to help those with more serious conditions.

“By taking a few simple steps we can all do our bit to help support our health services this winter.”

Healthy know how tips to keep well this winter include:

  • Know how to stay on top of prescriptions. Order only what is needed and in plenty of time before the festive holidays.
  • Know how to be prepared for common illnesses and ensure that medicines are to hand, at home.
  • Know how to check symptoms if you do become unwell. NHS Inform’s symptom checkers can give you all the health advice you need online and help you to get the right care, in the right place.

NHS Forth Valley Director of Public Health Dr Graham Foster added: “Winter is always a very busy time for health service, with lots of extra pressures.  We are therefore asking local people to take a few simple steps to ensure they are prepared in the run up to the festive period

“I’d also encourage everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated as soon as possible as this is the best way to protect yourself and your family against Covid-19 and flu this winter.

Information on the Healthy Know How campaign and the full range of winter health advice can be found here – 

Additional Information

NHS 24 – 111

  • NHS 24 provides people with urgent care advice over the phone.
  • The 111 service is suitable for anyone who may need to visit ED but does not have a life threatening condition, as well as those looking for advice when GPs or dentists are unavailable.

NHS Inform

  • Details of health and wellbeing services in Scotland. Includes GP practices, dental services and support groups.
  • An extensive range of health resources are available at
  • People can check symptoms and get advice on what to do and who and when to call us at
  • For mental wellbeing and support there is advice here
  • If you’re well but have a question about your health or local NHS services you can phone the NHS Inform helpline on 0800 22 44 88 (Mon – Fri from 8.00am to 6.00pm)

Breathing Space

  • Available in the evenings (6pm to 2am weekdays) and 24 hours at the weekend (Fri 6pm to Mon 6am) on 0800 83 85 87. The web chat service can be accessed from

111 Mental Health Hub

  • For those experiencing mental distress the 111 Mental Health Hub is available 24 hours a day, 7 days of the week by calling 111 and following the telephone prompts. Anyone may call. There is no upper or lower age limit.

BSL and other languages

  • All our telephone services use the interpretation service, Language Line, to support callers who cannot, or prefer not to, speak English.
    • Language Line is private, confidential and free to use.
  • BSL users can contact phone services direct
    • Contact Scotland BSL: 111 (including access to the Mental Health Hub), Breathing Space (0800 83 85 87), NHS inform helpline (0800 22 44 88).
    • People who have hearing loss can contact phone services with the Relay UK app or using a textphone.