Be ‘Health-Wise’ this Easter: check your surgery opening hours and stock the medicine cabinet

NHS 24’s Dr Owl is reminding people to plan ahead and take a few steps this week so they can make the most of the Easter holiday weekend.

With many GP surgeries closed in the Western Isles on Good Friday (March 25) and Easter Monday (March 28), islanders are advised to check their local surgery’s opening hours, as well as those of their community pharmacy, and to make sure they have a supply of over-the-counter medicines and repeat prescriptions.

The reminder is part of the Be Health-Wise This Easter campaign, run by NHS 24 on behalf of NHSScotland and launched by the wise Dr Owl (pictured with two youngsters from Melrose).

The Easter holiday is one of the busiest times of the year for the NHS in Scotland and NHS 24’s Medical Director, Professor George Crooks is urging people to stay safe and be prepared.

He said: “It’s an early Easter this year so there could still be winter colds and illnesses around alongside spring challenges such as hay fever. It is important that people are as prepared as possible if they want to make the most of the Easter break.

“Being prepared means having enough over-the-counter medication on hand if illness strikes. It is also important to plan ahead for any required repeat prescriptions over Easter, so please order only what you need and collect in good time. Finally, the NHS inform website is packed with advice for common ailments.

“With improving weather, there can be an increased risk of minor injuries like cuts and bruises, so make sure antiseptic cream or wipes and plasters are part of your home medicine cabinet. Don’t forget, your local pharmacy can also be a great source of advice on treating minor illnesses or injuries.”

In the Western Isles, some GP surgeries will be open as normal while others will be closed. The surgeries closing on Friday and Monday include: the Group Practice and Broadbay in Stornoway and the surgeries in North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist and Barra. Surgeries open as normal include all the sites run by Langabhat Medical Practice, as well as those in North and South Harris.

KJ Macdonald’s community pharmacy in Stornoway will be closed on Monday, although open from 9am to 5.30pm on Friday and 9am to 5pm on Saturday. Boots, also in Stornoway, will be open every day as normal. Back community pharmacy will be closed on Monday and open from 10am to 1pm on Saturday.

The normal out of hours arrangements will be in place during this period. Anyone needing to contact their GP when the surgery is closed should telephone NHS 24 on 111.

General advice and information on how to stay healthy this Easter can be found at or contact NHS inform on 0800 22 44 88.

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