Healthy advice for the festive season

It isn’t as tasty as a turkey and it won’t be found wrapped up under the Christmas tree, however NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s (NHSGGC) winter guide should be an essential part of everyone’s Christmas.

The Festive Guide to Your Health Services booklet is distributed across GP surgeries, health centres, clinics, pharmacies, dentists and opticians in the East Dunbartonshire area.

Vital information covered includes the opening hours of pharmacies throughout the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area and advice on how to access a GP when surgeries are closed.

The guide also reminds the public that three Minor Injury Units (MIUs) operate at the New Victoria Hospital, New Stobhill Hospital and the Vale of Leven Hospital between 9am-9pm throughout the holidays. These are suitable for a range of minor physical injuries for adults and children aged five and over.

Contact information regarding the wide range of out-of-hours services including those staffed by GPs is also comprehensively covered.

Dr Linda de Caestecker, NHSGGC’s Director of Public Health, said: “GP and dental surgeries close for the two public holidays at Christmas and again at New Year, however a range of other health services remain open.

“Many common ailments, such as colds and flu or stomach upsets, can be treated without going to GPs or local hospitals - pharmacists often provide the appropriate help.

“By having the booklet to hand, know what services are available during the holidays and how these can be accessed appropriately.

“It outlines where people can access help if someone becomes unwell and can’t wait for the GP surgery to re-open following the Christmas and New Year holidays.

“As always, its essential people make sure they have sufficient supplies of any medication they may need. Being prepared can be the key factor in preventing hospital admissions.

“We’re also asking people to be aware of a few simple precautions if they visit a friend or relative in hospital. This is important as we’re seeing an increase in the number of people contracting Norovirus in the community.”

People can help limit the spread of the virus through a few simple steps:

· Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, particularly after using the toilet and before preparing food.

· Do not share towels and flannels.

· Disinfect any surfaces or objects that could be contaminated with the virus. It is best to use a bleach-based household cleaner. Always follow the instructions on the cleaning product.

· Wash any clothing or bedding that could have become contaminated with the virus. Wash the items seperately and on a hot wash to ensure that the virus is killed.

· Flush away any infected faeces or vomit in the toilet and keep the surrounding toilet area clean.

· Avoid eating raw, unwashed produce.”

For those who don’t manage to pick up a copy of the brochure, the information from the brochure can be accessed by clicking onto www.nhsggc.org.uk/knowwhototurnto