NHS Highland is appealing for people to plan ahead for their families health needs over the festive period.

With many pharmacies closing over Christmas and New Year, people are advised to check the NHS Highland website for information on when their local pharmacy is open, and to stock-up on medical supplies such as pain-killers and any regular medications prescribed by your doctor.

NHS Highland’s head of pharmaceutical services Mary Morton said: “As winter approaches, it’s important for people not to forget their health and the health of others they care for.

“We know there are a lot of things on your to do list at this time of year, but it’s important to be prepared by ordering only the repeat medicines required and stocking the medicine cabinet with plenty of cold and flu remedies.”

Ms Morton also encouraged people to know who to turn to for help, adding that many local pharmacies can give help and advice on minor ailments.

“Your local NHS Highland pharmacy can be consulted, without appointment, when other services are closed to offer advice on minor ailments, over the counter purchased medicines and medicines prescribed by your doctor,” she explained.

For more information on where to find your local pharmacy and the list of pharmacy festive period opening hours, visit the NHS Highland and NHS 24 websites.

Ms Morton added: “Preparing ahead and knowing how to treat common winter ailments at home can not only help ensure that people in Highland make the most of the festive period, but it also means local health services can provide help where it is most needed.

“As winter approaches it is important for everyone, especially older people and parents of young children, to take a few simple steps.

“Finding out when your local GP practice is open and arranging with them that you have plenty of repeat medicines before they close for the festive period is one way of making sure you are not caught out this winter.”

 Click here for information on community pharmacy opening hours across Highland during the festive period.

General advice and information on how to stay health wise this winter can be found at www.nhsinform.co.uk/winter or by calling NHS Inform on 0800 22 44 88.