George Crooks: Ensure Easter medicine cabinet well stocked

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With coughs and colds still common during Easter, we want people to take a few simple steps to look after their health this month.

By knowing when their GP surgery is open, restocking their medicine cabinet and making sure they order any repeat prescriptions they need for themselves and those they look after ahead of Easter, people can ensure they make the most of the holiday weekend.

With many GP surgeries across Scotland closed for up to four days over the Easter holiday weekend, it’s vital to plan ahead and ensure you and your family stay well this spring.

We are advising people to keep remedies for common ailments available, 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 our Be Ready for Easter campaign recommends this spring are:

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.

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.

Make sure you have enough repeat prescription. 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.

Know when your GP surgery will be open. 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.

• Professor George Crooks is NHS24 medical director