Get ready for Easter

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STAFF at Scotland’s national telehealth service in Grampian are reminding people to help themselves look after their health this Easter.

The dedicated staff at NHS 24’s contact centre in Aberdeen, like many other people within the health and emergency services throughout Scotland, are preparing to receive thousands of calls from patients across Scotland over the Easter holiday weekend.

Pharmacy advisor Lesley Clark will be one of around 40 NHS 24 staff based at the contact centre working over at Easter. Lesley, from Stonehaven, has worked for NHS 24 for more than six years and has two young sons aged five and seven.

She said: “Quite a lot of the time, we get calls from people who have run out of medication or looking for advice on what to take for a cold or flu. I don’t think people are aware how often they could actually use the community pharmacist. Pharmacies can deal with queries about repeat prescriptions, minor ailments or if you have ran out of medicines. Anyone can phone or visit their community pharmacy for these types of queries and they will be seen or dealt with straight away. Community pharmacists can also refer patients directly to the out of hours GP’s as well, if they thought it appropriate.

“It is also very common to receive calls from people who have run out of medication at this time of year. I would advise everyone to make sure they have enough medication to last over the Easter holiday weekend and to restock the medicine cabinet well in advance.”

NHS 24 is working closely with all Scottish Health Boards as part of the national Be Ready for Easter campaign which encourages Scots, particularly parents and older people, to take a few simple steps to look after their health at this time of year.

Professor George Crooks, Medical Director at NHS 24, adds: “Easter is one of the busiest times of the year for the NHS in Scotland and we expect to be busy taking calls from patients in need at our centre in Aberdeen during the holiday break.

“For many of our callers over Easter, we will be offering self-care advice – so making sure you are prepared in advance should help many people enjoy the break.

“By taking just a few minutes to ensure that you have enough regular or repeat medication to see you through, it may prevent you and your family from becoming ill and ruining your holiday.

“We would also remind people that they have a huge range of health information available at their fingertips at www.nhsinform.co.uk”