Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Great value Unlimited Broadband from an award winning provider  


Wintry launch for National Health Campaign

23rd November 2011

Health Minister Nicola Sturgeon took to the slopes with school children to highlight the importance of being prepared for winter.

The group braved the chill of a snowy winter wonderland at the SNO!zone Scotland centre in Glasgow's Xscape, to encourage everyone to take a few simple steps to ensure they can take care of themselves and their families and have their own "wonderful" festive period this year.

The children were joined by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing and NHS 24 Medical Director, Dr George Crooks, to launch the national Be Ready for Winter campaign.

The NHSScotland campaign advises people that by re-stocking their medicine cabinet, ordering repeat prescriptions and knowing their GP surgery opening and closing times over the festive holidays, they can ensure they well prepared to cope with winter health.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: "It is important to remember that access to GPs and pharmacists will be limited over Christmas and New Year. Planning ahead can help ensure that coughs, colds and minor ailments don't become a big problem for you and your family this winter.

"As well as making sure you have sufficient supplies of any regular medication you may need, your medicine cabinet should be well stocked with things like painkillers, a cough bottle and antiseptic.

"Last year's winter was one of the most severe ever seen in Scotland so it is important to be prepared. A little preparation can really pay off to make sure that minor health problems don't become a major headache."

This year, GP surgeries will be closed for four days at Christmas (December 24-27) and for four days again at New Year (December 31 - January 3).

Dr Crooks said it is important to prepare ahead for this time: "As we have demonstrated today, the winter period can be a very fun and exciting time, especially for children, when they have the opportunity to take part in activities like sledging, skiing, and snowboarding which the winter weather usually brings. By preparing ahead, people can ensure they can make the most of the festive period, by not allowing winter coughs and colds to spoil their fun.

"I would advise people to take the time now to re-stock their medicine cabinet with items such as paracetamol, cough mixture, throat lozenges and cold and flu treatments, to deal with any winter ailments that may inevitably strike this winter.

"Your local pharmacist is also a good source of information and advice on re-stocking your medicine cabinet. If you need to visit your GP, try to schedule an appointment before the festive period and submit your repeat prescription request in plenty of time. Remember you can also access out of hours GP services through NHS 24 on 08454 24 24 24."

Dr Dean Marshall, Chairman of the BMA's Scottish General Practitioners Committee said: "Winter is the time of year when a lot of people will develop a cold or flu and the best way to manage these ailments is to ensure that you stock up on the remedies that are available in pharmacies and supermarkets. For those who are eligible, it's important to get the annual flu vaccination from your GP surgery.

"While it's important to be prepared, patients should be reassured that over the holiday season, even if their GP surgery is closed, they will be able to see a GP if they need to. Anyone experiencing health problems during the holidays should contact NHS 24 for advice."

The national Be Ready for Winter campaign is supported by NHSScotland in partnership with NHS 24, the Scottish Ambulance Service and all 14 Scottish Health Boards.

General advice and information on how to stay healthy this winter can be found at or contact NHS inform on 0800 22 44 88.

The four key steps that Be Ready for Winter is recommending everyone take in preparation for their health this winter are:

Restock your winter medicine cabinet
Many children and adults pick up common winter ailments such as a cold or flu-like illness. These can often be effectively treated at home with readily available medicine. Parents are reminded to restock their medicine cabinet with remedies suitable for children.

Use your local pharmacy
Your local pharmacy is an accessible resource for you and your family. Your pharmacist can offer advice or help if you have run out of any prescribed medication. You can also collect medicine for minor ailments or illnesses.

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

Know when your GP surgery will be open
Your local doctor's surgery will be open on Friday 23rd December, then closed for four days during the Christmas period and it will reopen on Wednesday 28th. The surgery will be shut again from December 31st-3rd January at, and reopen on Wednesday 4th January, 2012.


Related Businesses


Related Articles

First GP mentors in Highland
For the first time in Highland GPs working in the area now have access to mentor support to help promote staff health and wellbeing.   NHS Highland's Mentoring Scheme, which saw the first trained mentors graduate in 2016, was recently extended to include GPs as trained mentors and a group of 10 mentors were successful in graduating last month (February).  
University Of The Highlands And Islands Welcomes First Cohort Of Midwifery StudentsThumbnail for article : University Of The Highlands And Islands Welcomes First Cohort Of Midwifery Students
The University of the Highlands and Islands has welcomed its first cohort of students onto an innovative new midwifery course.  Nineteen students gathered at the Centre for Health Science in Inverness on Monday 7 January 2019 to begin the shortened midwifery programme.  
Health and social care phone numbers for Caithness
NHS Highland has created a handy list of telephone numbers to help improve access to healthcare services in Caithness - including a single point of contact number for community health and social care.  The information is given on a laminated double-sided A4 flyer with timely advice about the health board's services and the relevant telephone numbers for these and associated services.  
Caithness General Hospital to connect to Wick District Heating Scheme
NHS Highland has agreed that the Caithness General Hospital will be heated by energy delivered by the wood fuelled district heating scheme in Wick.   Supply of low cost renewable energy will begin immediately.  
Ward At Caithness General Closed Due To Diarrhoea and VomitingThumbnail for article : Ward At Caithness General Closed Due To Diarrhoea and Vomiting
A ward at Caithness General Hospital has been closed to new admissions and visitors are being asked to stay away while staff deal with several cases of diarrhoea and vomiting.   Bignold Wing currently has seven patients affected and samples have shown that norovirus is present in the ward.  
Statements From NHS Education Scotland (NES) and NHS Highland Regarding Training Of Junior Doctors At Caithness General
Statement From NHS Education Scotland (NES) NES quality management visit, Caithness General Hospital.   NHS Education Scotland (NES) is accountable to the General Medical Council (GMC) for assessing whether doctors in training are in an appropriate training environment.    We carried out a quality management visit to Caithness General Hospital on Friday 13rd February to assess the quality of the learning experience and learning environment for postgraduate medical trainees in line with General Medical Council Standards.  The visit was prompted by a shortage of substantive consultants in post and continued heavy reliance on locums and therefore the potential impact on the quality of training and supervision of doctors in training.  
Patients Rights Updated In New Code
NHS Highland recently discussed the new Patients Rights Act.   The Patient Rights (Scotland) Act 2011 aims to improve patients' experiences of using health services and to support people to become more involved in their health and health care.  
Caithness District Partnership Meeting
The new Caithness District Partnership will meet in full for the second time on Friday 28 September, as part of the new arrangements under the Planning for Integration (P4i) partnership between the NHS and The Highland Council.   Partners will consider a report from the NHS steering group, who are recommending a Stakeholder Engagement Plan.  
NHS Highland Achieves 'Exceptional' Patient Safety Rating
NHS Highland has emerged as one of the top two health boards in Scotland in a national assessment of patient safety standards.  The board has scored an "exceptional" 4.0 on a five-point scale set by the American-based Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), in conjunction with Healthcare Improvement Scotland.  
Caithness Maternity Unit Receives International Recognition
The Henderson Maternity Unit at Caithness General Hospital has been re-accredited as Baby Friendly, which means it is internationally recognised by UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) as providing high quality support to mothers and babies.   Staff at the Wick unit were originally presented with the prestigious Baby Friendly Award in March 2010.  

[Printer Friendly Version]