With a series of public holidays over the next fortnight NHSScotland is urging people in Lothian to plan ahead.

The Be Ready for Easter campaign, which launched earlier this month, is reminding local people to self-care over Easter, the Royal Wedding and May bank holiday weekends.

With coughs and colds common during Easter and allergies such as hay fever making a comeback, NHSScotland wants Scots to take a few simple steps to look after their health this month.

By knowing when their GP surgery is open, re-stocking the medicine cabinet and planning ahead for any repeat prescriptions, Scots are being encouraged to self-care this spring.

Dr Alison McCallum, Director of Public Health and Health Policy, NHS Lothian said: “Making sure you’re prepared to look after yourself and your family is important this Easter, with more school and public holidays than is usual for this time of year.

“I’d advise people across Lothian to be aware of when their local GP surgery and pharmacy is open, urge anyone with a repeat prescription to make sure they plan ahead to ensure they have sufficient supplies to last over the holidays and offer a reminder to ensure their medicine cabinets are stocked with common remedies.”

Eunice Muir, Executive Nurse Director at NHS 24, said: “With public holidays throughout April and May, it’s vital to plan ahead and ensure you and your family stay well this spring.

“Many GP surgeries closed for two four day periods over the Easter weekend and the spring holiday weekend, so a few simple measures are the key to staying healthy this month.

“We are advising people to keep remedies for common ailments, to make sure they have enough medication to see them through the holidays and to know when they can get an appointment at their GP surgery.”

The four key steps that Be Ready for Easter recommends this spring are:

1.Restock your medicine cabinet
Common ailments such as colds can often be effectively treated at home with readily available medicine such as pain relief, cough mixture and cold remedies. Parents are also reminded to restock their medicine cabinet with child-friendly remedies.

2.Use your local pharmacy
Your pharmacist can offer advice or help if you need over-the-counter remedies or have run out of any prescribed medication. First aid treatments for minor accidents such as plasters and antiseptic creams can also be obtained from the pharmacy.

3.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 have enough medicine to last over the holiday period.

4.Know when your GP surgery will be open
Your local doctor’s surgery may be closed for four days during the Easter weekend (Friday, April 22 to Monday, April 25) and for another four days due to the Royal Wedding (Friday, April 29 to Monday, May 2) re-opening on Tuesday, May 3.

General advice and information on how to stay healthy this Easter can be found at www.nhsinform.co.uk or contact NHS inform on 0800 22 44 88.