Ill-health is unwelcome at any time of year but particularly over the holiday season. We know it’s easy for health to drop off your to-do list when you’re really busy, so we’ve put together this short guide to help you stay well this winter.

Know your GP practice details and pharmacy opening times

Over the holiday season, your GP practice and pharmacy opening hours are likely to be different from normal.

It’s important to know this information so you can make sure you order and collect any repeat prescriptions you may need in plenty of time.

Check your GP practice details and pharmacy opening times

Use Scotland's Service Directory to find out your GP practice details and pharmacy opening times.
Scotland's Service Directory

Getting medicines

If you do run out of your regular medicine, and your GP practice isn't open, there are ways to get an emergency supply. Use our self-help guide for advice if you're having difficulty getting the medicine you need when your GP practice isn't open.
Access to medicines

Check you have medicines at home

One way to be health-wise this winter is to make sure you have some over the counter remedies for common seasonal illnesses.

Things to have include:

  • paracetamol and ibuprofen for pain relief (check the label or speak to your pharmacist to check it's suitable for you)
  • anti-histamines to help allergies
  • anti-diarrhoeals and oral rehydration sachets for diarrhoea
  • indigestion remedies such as an antacid
  • mild laxative for constipation
  • a first aid kit
  • medicines specifically for children (your pharmacist can advise on the most suitable ones to keep in the house)

Remember that medicines go out of date, so don't overstock. Always follow the advice on the pack, and if your symptoms persist (or are severe) seek further advice.

NHS Minor Ailment Service

If you have a minor illness, a pharmacist can provide non-prescription medicines free of charge if you're eligible under the NHS Minor Ailment Service.

Managing common winter illnesses

Self-help guide

Use our self-help guide to manage common winter illnesses such as flu, sore throat, diarrhoea, fever and many more.
Self-help guides

Health information

If you're looking for general health information then you'll find what you're looking for within these sections of NHS inform:

If you’re well, but have a question about your health or local NHS services you can contact NHS inform by phone or webchat.

Be Health-Wise This Winter (

Watch Dr. Owl provide some wise winter advice