Show You Care – Prepare for the Festive Season

NHS Forth Valley is gearing up to cope with extra demands over the festive season. Winter is always a very busy time for the NHS and, this year, health services across the country face additional challenges due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

To help address this local people across Forth Valley are being asked to prepare for the festive season and make sure they get the Right Care in the Right Place this winter.

This year’s NHS Scotland winter campaign, which is called ‘Show you care. Prepare’, takes the ‘clap for carers’ idea and turns it around to show healthcare workers clapping for people who take simple steps to cope with common winter health problems. This includes checking any repeat prescription you rely on, making sure you order only what you need and in plenty of time, asking your pharmacist for health advice and checking the self-help health guides at

The way people access A&E services has also changed to help keep patients and staff across NHS Scotland safe this winter – making sure everyone gets the right care in the right place. Local A&E departments, including the Emergency Department at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, remain open for those who have a life-threatening emergency. However, to ensure patients have the fastest access to the treatment they need, anyone with a non-life-threatening condition, who would usually go to A&E, should now call NHS 24 on 111 first, day or night, to be directed to the right local NHS service. There are no changes to the arrangements for emergency healthcare and people should continue to call 999 or go direct to Forth Valley Royal Hospital for emergencies.

GP practices will be open as normal on Thurs 24th Dec, then Tues 29th, Wed 30th and Thurs 31st Dec, and reopen Tues 5th Jan 2021 (they will be closed on Christmas Day – Fri 25th Dec, Mon 28th Dec 2020, New Year’s Day Friday 1st Jan and Mon 4th Jan 2021).

The Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) at Stirling Health and Care Village will remain open every day over the festive period from 9.00am until 9.30pm. It can treat adults and children over the age of one for cuts and grazes, minor burns, sprains and strains. It can also help with minor eye and ear injuries and X-ray and treat broken bones including broken ankles and wrists. This year people are being asked to Call MIA (Minor Injuries Assessment) on 01324 566130 to quickly access clinical advice via a video link or arrange an appointment in either Stirling or Larbert, if required.

A number of community pharmacists in Forth Valley will be open for periods of time on Christmas Day and Boxing Day (Friday 25th and Saturday 26th Dec), Mon 28th Dec, New Year’s Day (Friday 1st Jan 2021), Sat 2nd Jan 2021 and Mon 4th Jan 2021. As part of a new national service called Pharmacy First, all local pharmacists are able to provide free treatment for a range of common conditions without a GP prescription. These include urine infections, conjunctivitis, skin conditions (such as eczema, dermatitis and reactions to insect bites) skin infections (such as cellulitis and impetigo) and thrush.

Local opticians across Forth Valley can provide advice and treatment for a wide range of common eye conditions such as blurred vision and eye infections or refer you directly to hospital if the problem is more serious.

NHS Forth Valley’s Medical Director, Andrew Murray, said: “Winter is always a very busy time for health service, but this year we face extra pressures due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 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 and access the health services and advice available to help them get the right care in the right place this winter.

“This will help avoid our Emergency Department becoming overcrowded and ensure that people with more serious injuries and illnesses can be seen as quickly as possible.”

More information on local health services and other advice over the winter period can be found on the Winter Zone of NHS Forth Valley’s website