People are being urged to be prepared this festive season and not put additional pressure on Forth Valley Royal’s emergency department.
As NHS Forth Valley gears up to cope with extra demands, the public is reminded that GP surgeries will be closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, as well as January 1 and 2.
On Christmas Day the Boots pharmacy in Stirling Street, Denny will be open from 11.30am till 12.30pm, along with Rowlands Pharmacy in South Street, Bo’ness which is open from 9-10am.
Boxing Day sees the Falkirk High Street Boots the Chemist open from 9am to 5.30pm, and the branch in LaPorte Precinct, Grangemouth from noon till 4pm.
January 1 will see Lloyds Pharmacy in Main Street, Stenhousemuir open from 10-11am, and the Lloyds branch in Richmond Terrace, Bo’ness from 9-10am.
On January 2 Boots the Chemist in High Street, Falkirk will be open from 9am till 5pm, and the Boots branch in LaPorte Precinct, Grangemouth from noon till 4pm.
Details of the pharmacy rota and Pharmacy First service can be found on the Winter Zone of the NHS Forth Valley website www.nhsforthvalley.com/winter.
The Minor Injuries Unit at Stirling Community Hospital will remain open every day throughout the festive period from 9am to 9pm.
This provides treatment for a wide range of injuries, such as suspected broken bones, sprains, minor burns and infected wounds.
No appointment is necessary and, while the it is based in Stirling, it can be used by any patient from across Forth Valley over the age of one.
NHS Forth Valley’s Medical Director, Andrew Murray, explained: “Winter is a very busy time for the NHS and it’s important to remember that the Emergency Department at Forth Valley Royal Hospital is for people who have serious illnesses or injuries which require urgent care. We have already seen an increasing number of people turning up for treatment due to falls in icy weather. “You can help avoid putting extra strain on hospital and emergency services by making use of the Minor Injuries Unit at Stirling Community Hospital or seeking advice from a local pharmacist if your condition is not urgent. Patients will also be still be able to see a GP if they need to when their surgery is closed by contacting NHS 24 on 111.”
Local pharmacist Hollie Graham, said: “Remember your local pharmacist can provide treatment and advice for a wide range of common health problems, including many which previously required a prescription from your GP. There will also be a rota system in place over the Christmas and New Year holidays to ensure local people across Forth Valley can access medicines and talk to a pharmacist if they require health advice.”