NHS plea not to put more pressure on hospital A&E wards at Christmas

The minor injuries unit at Stirling Community Hospital is open from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. every day over the festive season
The minor injuries unit at Stirling Community Hospital is open from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. every day over the festive season
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Health bosses are urging residents across the district to avoid putting extra pressure on A&E departments over the festive season.

Additional doctors, nurses and other health professionals have been arranged to staff minor injury services and keep hospital beds free for those with the most serious conditions.

The minor injuries unit at Stirling Community Hospital will be open every day throughout the festive season from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. and no appointment is necessary.

It is able to treat adults and children over the age of one for a wide range of minor injuries including suspected broken bones, sprains and strains, minor burns and infected wounds.

Children under the age of one with minor injuries should be taken to the Emergency Department at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert.

Pharmacies across the Falkirk district will operate a rota-system over the festive period to ensure people can access over the counter medicines and prescriptions.

Details of opening times can be found by calling NHS 24 on 111 or visiting www.nhsforthvalley.com/winter.

GP surgeries across Forth Valley will be closed from Christmas Day until Monday, December 29, and from January 1-5.

Anyone experiencing health problems when their surgery is closed over the 
festive season should call 111.

“Winter is a very busy time for the NHS and it’s important that the emergency department is for people who have serious illnesses or injuries which require urgent care,” said Tracey Gillies, a medical director at NHS Forth Valley.

“Many people arrive at the emergency department with minor injuries or illnesses that could either be treated quickly at the minor injuries unit or be dealt with by their local GP or pharmacist.”

Meanwhile, anyone who is eligible for a flu vaccination but has not yet been immunised is urged to contact their GP to arrange an appointment.

GPs are offering vaccines to anyone aged 65 and over, people with chronic illness such as heart disease and asthma, and those with neurological conditions such as multiple sclerosis.

Pregnant women and carers are also eligible.