Dr Owl, the face of NHS 24’s ‘Be Health-Wise this Winter’ campaign is asking people if they know when their GP surgery and local pharmacy are open over the festive period and to make sure they know where to go if they need health advice over the holidays.

NHS 24’s Medical Director Professor George Crooks said: “GP surgery opening times may vary across Scotland so it is vital you know when your local surgery will be available. Pharmacies can help with treatments for common complaints but again, do make sure that you know when your local pharmacy will be open.

“It’s a good idea to have some over the counter medicines at home and if you are on any long term medication make sure you have enough to last over the holidays, order only what you need but make sure you get it in plenty of time.”

Dr Alan McDevitt, chair of the BMA’s Scottish GP Committee, says it’s important people know what services are available, and when: “GPs and other healthcare staff will be working in out of hours units across Scotland, throughout the festive break, to ensure that people who become ill and can’t wait for an appointment when their GP practice re-opens can get help. Be prepared by finding out when your local surgery is going to be open, order repeat prescriptions early and stock up on remedies for seasonal illnesses from your local pharmacy.”

The 111 service run by NHS 24 will be available throughout Christmas and Hogmanay and  online health advice and information can be found at www.nhsinform.co.uk.