Don’t let ill-health spoil Easter

Nobody likes being under the weather, especially this time of year. Help you and your family stay well with a bit of healthy know-how.

Check you have medicines at home

One way to prepare for Easter is to make sure you have some over-the-counter remedies for common illnesses. Your pharmacist can advise you on the best medicines for you and your family.

Good 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 for diarrhoea, indigestion remedies such as an antacid, mild laxatives for constipation, a first aid kit which includes plasters, bandages and antiseptic wipes for cuts and scrapes, medicines specifically for children (your pharmacist can advise on the most suitable ones to keep in the house)

Remember to always follow the advice on the pack and do not get too much as medicines go out of date.

Accessing medicines

If you rely on regular medicines, you should check you have enough for Easter. If you need to order more medicines, make sure you order only what you need and in plenty of time.

If you run out of your regular medicine, and your GP practice is closed, 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.

How to get medicines if you run out

Managing common illnesses

Use NHS Inform self-help guides to manage common illnesses like flu, sore throat, diarrhoea and many more.

NHS Pharmacy First Scotland

If you have a minor illness, a pharmacist can give you advice and provide non-prescription medicines free of charge if you are registered with a GP practice in Scotland or you live in Scotland.

More about NHS Pharmacy First Scotland

Contacting your GP for COVID-19 Symptoms

NHS Inform has a wealth of information if you have COVID-19 symptoms. If you need further medical advice please call your GP practice during opening hours or call 111 when your GP practice is closed.

The NHS Inform coronavirus webpage remains the fastest way to obtain the latest health advice and information, including protective measures, how to get a test and how to self-isolate.

Travel Health and Vaccinations

If you’re planning to travel outside the UK, your travel health needs will depend on your individual situation. This includes: your destination, how long you’ll stay, what you’ll be doing and your general health.

You can access information on what vaccinations are required, together with malarial and safe travel advice at Fit for Travel

Travel health risk assessment

If you think you require vaccines and/or a malaria risk assessment, you should make an appointment with a travel health professional.

A travel health risk assessment is also recommended for some people, even when vaccines or malaria tablets aren’t required. This includes: older people, those with weakened immune system, those with long term conditions, pregnant women and children.

To make an appointment for a travel health risk assessment in Scotland, contact the NHS health board where you live. 

Alternatively, you can visit a private clinic for a risk assessment, advice and other travel vaccines

You should arrange a travel health risk assessment 6 to 8 weeks before you travel. This gives time for any vaccines you might need to become fully effective.

If your trip is sooner, remember it’s never too late to get advice.

Spring booster dose for high risk groups

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) advised a spring dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as a precaution to those at extremely high risk, most of whom received their first booster around 6 months ago.

Who will be offered the spring booster?

adults aged 75 years and over (or will turn 75 by 30 June 2022)residents in care homes for older adultsindividuals aged 12 years and over who have a weakened immune system

The spring booster dose will usually be offered around 6 months since your last dose of the coronavirus vaccine. Some people may be invited sooner than this (at least 3 months since their last dose) to help protect them against any increase in coronavirus infections.

NHS Scotland will contact you to arrange your appointment at the right time for you.

Transgender Screening Information

No matter which, if any, gender you identify with, it’s important you’re aware of which screening services you’re eligible for.

Community Health Index (CHI) number

Your Community Health Index (CHI) number:

is a record of your date of birthidentifies you as male or femaleis unique to you

All NHS screening programmes in Scotland identify people who are eligible for screening through their CHI number.

Changing your CHI number

We understand that you may or may not wish to change your CHI number and have provided information to help you make an informed choice around accessing screening.

If you’d like to change your CHI number, speak to your GP.

Screening information for the transgender community

Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening

Bowel screening

Breast screening

Cervical screening

Further information

If you’re unsure about what you’re eligible for, what you will or won’t be automatically invited for or have any questions about the screening service phone the surgery or the NHS inform helpline

National Gender Identity Clinical Network

You can also visit the NHS Scotland National Gender Identity Clinical Network website for more details about NHS gender services, and help and support for trans and non-binary people in Scotland.

Bowel screening

Half a million people in Scotland do their bowel screening test each year, and you’re 14 times more likely to survive bowel cancer if it’s found early.

Bowel screening is offered to people aged 50 to 74 across Scotland to help find bowel cancer early, when it can often be cured.

What does it involve?

Bowel screening involves taking a simple test at home every 2 years. The test looks for hidden blood in your poo, as this could mean a higher chance of bowel cancer.

The aim of the test is to find:

bowel cancer at an early stage in people with no symptomsother changes in the bowel, such as pre-cancerous growths called ‘polyps’

Most bowel polyps can be removed easily, which can prevent cancer from developing.

Important information about flu vaccinations

person in brown long sleeve shirt with white bandage on right hand

NHS Lanarkshire are prioritising COVID-19 booster vaccinations because of the rise of the Omicron variant. Therefore you will no longer routinely be given the flu vaccination at the clinics.

If you are 64 and under, and are not in a higher-risk category, you will no longer be offered a flu vaccination this season.

If you are:

  • aged 65 and over
  • 16 and over with an underlying health condition
  • 16 and over and an unpaid carer or household contact of an immunosuppressed person

check with your community pharmacy, or check the NHS inform website in January to see when we may be able to recommence flu vaccination in some clinics.

If you are pregnant, speak to your midwife who can give you the flu vaccine.

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Right care right place

The way we access urgent care has changed. To protect us and the NHS, it’s important you know how to get the right care, in the right place.

If we all use NHS services wisely, we can keep well and get the care we need quickly, safely and as close to home as possible.

Phone NHS 24 on 111 for urgent care

If you think you need to visit A&E but it’s not life threatening, you can phone NHS 24 on 111, day or night.

Phone 111 if you:

think you need to go to A&E but it’s not life threateningare too ill to wait for your GP practice to openhave worsening symptoms of coronavirus

NHS 24 will help you get the right care in the right place, often closer to home and without the need to go to A&E. This may include a phone or video consultation.

Or, you can still contact your GP practice during opening hours.

If it’s a life threatening emergency, you should phone 999 or go directly to A&E.

Different ways to access NHS 24 on 111

You can access urgent care from NHS 24 on 111 in different ways.

Language Line

If English isn’t your first or preferred language, you can use the free interpretation service Language Line.

British Sign Language (BSL)

If you use British Sign Language (BSL), you can use the free BSL interpreting video relay service contactSCOTLAND-BSL.

More information about Right care right place in BSL.

Relay UK

If you use a textphone you can contact NHS 24 on 18001 111.

Or, you can contact NHS 24 with the Relay UK app.

Minor Injuries Unit (MIU)

If you think you need to visit a MIU, you should call NHS 24 on 111. NHS 24 will direct you to the best care for your needs. A MIU can help if you:

have a cuthave a minor burnhave a sprain or strainthink you have broken or fractured a bone

Visiting a MIU can often be quicker than going to A&E.

NHS inform

We provide accurate and reliable health information to help you make informed decisions.

We have advice on common symptoms, a range of self-help guides and information on where to go if you need further medical care.

You can access our information on topics such as:

coronavirus (COVID-19)fluminor head injuriespreventing fallseye problems (self-help guide)food poisoningmuscle, bone and jointsmental health (self-help guides)

Community health care services

The way we access community health care services has also changed due to coronavirus. Community health care services include pharmacies, GP practices, dentists and optometrists (opticians).


speak to your local pharmacy for advice about minor illnesses, treatments and medicationcontact your local optician if you have an eye problemuse our self-help guides for everyday illnessescontact your GP practice, optician or dentist by phone or online firstfollow physical distancing measures if you’re attending in person


do not visit your GP practice, optician or dentist without an appointmentdo not arrive too early or too late for your appointmentdo not attend in person if you, or someone you live with, have symptoms of coronavirus

If you are isolating and have a non-covid health concern which cannot wait until your isolation time period ends, please contact your GP practice, local hospital or outpatient service to discuss what actions you should take.

Read further information about changes to community health care services

Mental health support

Our mental health resources include:

advice on dealing with low mood, anxiety, phobias and stresswhere to get helpideas for improving your wellbeing

If you’re struggling with your mental health or need emotional support, you can phone Breathing Space on 0800 83 85 87. Breathing Space is available on weekdays from 6.00pm to 2.00am and at weekends from Friday 6.00pm to Monday 6.00am.

For urgent mental health support, phone NHS 24 on 111, day or night.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you have developed symptoms of coronavirus, stay at home and arrange to be tested.

Symptoms of coronavirus

The most common symptoms are new:

continuous coughfever/high temperature (37.8C or greater)loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste (anosmia)

A new continuous cough is where you:

have a new cough that’s lasted for an hourhave had 3 or more episodes of coughing in 24 hoursare coughing more than usual

A high temperature is feeling hot to the touch on your chest or back (you don’t need to measure your temperature). You may feel warm, cold or shivery.

You should follow our guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection.

Only phone NHS 24 on 111 if:

your symptoms worsen during home isolation, especially if you’re in a high or extremely high-risk groupbreathlessness develops or worsens, particularly if you’re in a high or extremely high-risk groupyour symptoms haven’t improved in 10 days

Coronavirus (COVID-19): General advice

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Test and Protect

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection

Protect Scotland app

The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine

Scotland’s Service Directory

If you need help to find the right care in the right place, use Scotland’s Service Directory. It has the names, addresses, opening times and service details for a wide range of NHS services in Scotland.

Roll up your sleeves for the coronavirus vaccine booster

It’s time to roll up your sleeve for the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine booster

People across Scotland have been getting the coronavirus booster vaccination. If you haven’t had yours yet, it’s not too late to roll up your sleeve.

Why should I get the vaccine booster?

Like some other vaccines, levels of protection may begin to reduce over time. The coronavirus vaccine booster dose will help extend the protection you gained from your first 2 doses and give you longer-term protection.

Am I eligible for the vaccine booster?

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) recommends that the booster dose of the coronavirus vaccine is offered to:

everyone aged 16 years or overolder adults living in care homesfrontline health and social care workerspeople aged 12 years and over with a severely weakened immune system who have had a third primary dose children and young people aged 12 to 15 years who are at increased risk from coronavirus due to underlying health conditionschildren and young people aged 12 to 15 years who live with someone with a weakened immune system

Find out when eligible children and young people aged 12 to 17 years will be invited for their booster dose.

When can I get the vaccine booster?

The booster dose can be offered any time at least 3 months (12 weeks) after your second dose.

If you have not had either your first or second dose of the coronavirus vaccine, you should register to have them first.

How to book

You can log in to book using the same username and password details you set up for your first two doses of coronavirus vaccine.

If you live in NHS Western Isles or NHS Orkney local health board areas, you will not need to book an appointment online as local arrangements are in place.

If you’re aged 60 years or over or if you’re aged 16 years or over and have an underlying health condition, you will be invited to your vaccination appointment by letter or phone call. If you have not been invited yet, you can log in online or phone the national vaccination helpline on 0800 030 8013 to check if an appointment has been booked for you.

NHS Scotland will contact children and young people aged 12 to 15 years who are eligible for a booster dose and their parents or carers. Please wait to be contacted.

Read further information about the booster vaccination

Unearth all your potential as a parent or carer

woman in brown coat carrying child in orange and white striped polo shirt

Not everyone is a father but this might be of interest to you and the men in your life!

Did you know NHS Lanarkshire have PRE-PAID for every parent and carer in South Lanarkshire to access a course for parents/carers (access now for life-long access)? FREE with access code:

South –  OWEN123  at: for residents in our area.

There are courses for parents, carers and grandparents about children from bump to 19+ years

It was a bit of an eye-opener … We may have come from … this side of the tracks or that side of tracks but everyone agreed. We all just wanted the best for [our children]. (Adam, 29, son aged 1, daughter aged 8 years)I love being a dad … I think it’s very important to all men. Whether they actually do what I think now a dad should do? I don’t think they do that … Because obviously I’ve learnt what a dad should do. (Robert, 42, son aged 1 year)
It gives you empathy with what your children are feeling … Once you’ve got that empathy … it all falls into place. (Adam, 29, son aged 1, daughter aged 8 years)I wasn’t as close to him previously. I was trying to bond … But I needed to learn it. Learn whatto do. (Robert, 42, son aged 1 year)
Instead of looking at it in my point of view and thinking what would I like to do? I’ve actually gone down and watched them do what they do … and how they behave … It’s given me a chance to interact … It’s made me feel good … seeing them happy. (Daniel, 31, daughter aged 2, son aged 4 years)In the past I would react very quickly as in shout straight away or stop the situation straight away… I’m realising now I was at times overreacting. I’m trying to react to that and to change that. Even still now I can still see myself going the opposite way. But I pull myself back [laugh] … I try and get with their level … As soon as you get the connection it’s like they completely change. There’s never a stress. And you think wow! … It has made such a difference … We’ve got more of a bond. We understand each other in a sense. (Adam, 29, son aged 1, daughter aged 8 years)**

How do I access?

What’s the code?

If you haven’t used it already here is the access code for all the online courses(funded for residents):

South –  OWEN123

  • If, like many parents, you have already used this code, log into your accounthere and this course will be ready in your dashboard to start whenever you are ready.

Can I tell my family and friends?

Absolutely! Share the news with family members and other families in the area so that they too can take advantage of this fantastic opportunity.

How long is it?

There are 11 modules which each take about 10-15 minutes to complete and will benefit from time to digest in between.

If you like this…

…you might like the other courses ‘Understanding your teenager’s brain’ (short course) or ‘Understanding your child’s feelings’ (taster course) , or other courses in the series.

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Attending the Practice

man in gray crew neck t-shirt covering his face with white textile

The Scottish Government requires General Practice and other healthcare settings to have different infection control and physical distancing guidance to other places such as hospitality and shops. 

Read more

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What to do if you have coronavirus (COVID-19)

How to self-isolate, get an isolation note for work, and help your symptoms

Look after yourself and others by following this advice


Testing is available to people with and without symptoms. It can be done at home, or at one of the many coronavirus testing centres across Scotland.

If you have symptoms, you must self-isolate and book a PCR test.

The Symptoms of Coronavirus

The most common symptoms are new:

continuous coughfever/high temperature (37.8C or greater)loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste (anosmia)

A new continuous cough is where you:

have a new cough that’s lasted for an hourhave had 3 or more episodes of coughing in 24 hoursare coughing more than usual

A high temperature is feeling hot to the touch on your chest or back (you don’t need to measure your temperature). You may feel warm, cold or shivery.

Close contacts

You’ll be sent a link to a secure online form so you can share who you’ve been in close contact with or any places you’ve been. The link to the form is unique to you. It’ll be sent to you through text or email.

You may get a phone call if you are linked to a higher risk setting, for instance health and social care.

Read further information about contact tracing

Read further information about close contacts

How to self-isolate

If you’ve tested positive for coronavirus, you must self-isolate.

Self-isolation means staying at home. You should avoid close contact with others by:

not having visitorsnot using taxis or public transportasking a friend or neighbour to get your shopping or arranging for a delivery to be left at your doornot sharing towels, clothes, toothbrushes or razors

You should also rearrange any vaccine or other appointments you have.

Read further information about self-isolation


If you are told to self-isolate by Test and Protect you may be eligible for a £500 Self-Isolation Support Grant. You need a positive PCR test result to apply for the grant. Book a PCR test

If you need support but cannot get this from friends or family, phone the National Assistance Helpline (0800 111 4000) or textphone (0800 111 4114). The helpline is open from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.

It’s also important to look after your mental wellbeing during self-isolation.

Isolation note for work

You can send an isolation note to your employer as proof you need to stay off work because of coronavirus.

You do not need to get a note (sick line) from a GP.

Get an isolation note

Read information about treating coronavirus symptoms at home

Rearrange your vaccine

If you’ve tested positive for coronavirus, even if you have no symptoms, you should wait until 4 weeks after the date you were tested to get the vaccine.

Rearrange or opt-out of your coronavirus vaccination appointment

PCR testing within 90 days of a positive result

You should not book a PCR test if you’ve tested positive for coronavirus in the last 90 days, unless you develop new symptoms.

Read further information about repeat PCR testing

LFD testing within 28 days of a positive result

If you have tested positive, you should pause routine LFD testing for 28 days after self-isolating. Count the 28 days from the day your symptoms started, or the date of your positive test if you didn’t have symptoms. If you’re identified as a close contact during this time, you do not need to test or self-isolate as long as you do not have any new symptoms, regardless of vaccination status. If you do develop new symptoms, self-isolate and book a PCR test.

How long does coronavirus last?

You may still have a cough or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste for several weeks.

Most people’s symptoms of coronavirus get better within 4 weeks.

However, some people may have ongoing symptoms. These can last for a few weeks or longer. This has been referred to as long COVID.

Read further information about the longer-term effects of coronavirus (long COVID)

Register for a coronavirus vaccination as an unpaid carer

Who can use this service

This service is for unpaid carers over 16 and under 65 years old who provide face-to-face care for someone who may be affected by disability, physical or mental ill-health, frailty or substance misuse.

You are eligible for vaccination at this stage if all the following apply:

  • you are 16 or over, and under 65 years old
  • you provide face-to-face care and support to one or more family members, friends or neighbours
  • the care you provide is not part of a contract or voluntary work
  • if caring for someone under 18, they are affected by a disability, physical or mental ill-health, developmental condition or substance misuse
  • you have not already received your first COVID-19 vaccination

You will need to have access to an email address and mobile phone to register.

You will need to be registered with a GP or other NHS Scotland service.

Register by telephone

If you require assistance to register, you can register via the COVID-19 Vaccination Helpline on 0800 030 8013, please select option 3, Register as an Unpaid Carer.

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Coronavirus Vaccination

We understand that our patients are keen to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible. We are receiving calls from patients asking for additional information and to be prioritised.

To find our more information about the national COVID vaccination programme, please visit;

NHS Inform COVID Vaccine.

If you have received your invitation letter and require to change the date, time or to advise that you are now housebound and are unable to attend the vaccination centre, please contact the Coronavirus Vaccination helpline on 0800 030 8013.

The helpline is open 7 days a week, 8am to 8pm.

We ask that you please do not contact the GP surgery regarding your appointment as we do not have access to the clinic schedule to advise when you will be appointed or to change any booked appointments.

If you think that you should have received an invitation to your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination appointment by now, or if you have lost your invitation letter. You can contact NHS Scotland by phone or by completing an online form.

For patients within NHS Lanarkshire please use the contact form for Missing Appointment details which can be found on the >> NHS Inform website.

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