A CAMPAIGN has been launched to remind people of the simple steps they can take to stay healthy over the festive season.

The ‘Be Health-Wise this Winter’ initiative outlines the ways people can make sure they look after themselves and their family if anyone falls ill.

Recommended steps include checking the opening times for your GP surgery and local pharmacy over the holiday season and stocking up cupboards with medicines for common illnesses, such as pain relief and rehydration salts.

People are also being reminded not to run out of repeat prescriptions, making sure they order what they need in plenty of time.

Health Secretary Shona Robison said: “Planning ahead can help ensure that coughs, colds and minor ailments don’t become a big problem for you and your family over winter.

“Stocking up on remedies is a good idea to help tackle common conditions. Knowing where to get help if someone does become unwell is also important, so it’s good to know your local GP and pharmacy opening times that may vary over the holidays.

“We also have a really good resource online at nhsinform.scot which includes self-help guides so you can quickly and easily check symptoms and decide what to do next.”

Dr Laura Ryan, NHS 24’s medical director, added: “NHS 24 is always busy at Christmas and New Year and a lot of calls are about medicines.

“Making sure you have enough of any repeat prescription to last can save you interrupting your family time to call us. We have a great team of pharmacists here but your local community pharmacist is the first place to go.

“It’s also worth stressing that those who are eligible should get the annual flu vaccination.

“In addition, while it’s important to be prepared, you should be reassured that help is there if you need it, from GPs working in the out-of-hours service to nurses, pharmacists and physiotherapists.”