Please be ready this Winter

Save the Emergency Department at the Borders General Hospital for emergencies only.

Restock your winter medicine cabinet
Many children and adults pick up common winter ailments such as a cold or flu-like illness. These can often be effectively treated at home with readily available medicine. Parents are reminded to restock their medicine cabinet with remedies suitable for children.

Use your local pharmacy
Your local pharmacy is an accessible resource for you and your family. Your pharmacist can offer advice or help if you have run out of any prescribed medication. You can also collect medicine for minor ailments or illnesses.

Local Pharmacy Festive Opening Times can be found here.

For all urgent prescriptions please call NHS24 on 111.

Make sure you have repeat prescriptions
If you, or someone you care for, require medicines regularly, check that you have enough and if you need more remember to order and collect repeat prescriptions in good time to ensure you or your family have enough medicine to last over the Christmas holiday period. Only order what you need.

Visitors to hospitals are reminded to follow Norovirus infection control guidelines
NHS Borders is reminding visitors to Borders General Hospital and the community hospitals to follow infection control guidelines to help prevent the spread of norovirus (the winter vomiting bug).

Common symptoms of Norovirus are diarrhoea and/or vomiting generally lasting for 12-72 hours. Other symptoms can include headache, fever and muscle aches. Anyone can get the infection and it can be serious in the very young, frail or older people who are vulnerable to the effects of dehydration.

Treatment for Norovirus in most cases requires drinking more fluids than usual and resting to give your body a chance to fight the infection. Because it is a virus, antibiotics will not help. NHS24 provides comprehensive up-to-date health information and self care advice by telephone on 111 or on their website at . Because the symptom of Norovirus can come on very quickly, we know that many people are worried, particularly if a child is taken ill. If you are worried, you should call NHS 24 or your local health clinic or GP.

Seasonal Flu
Health professionals across the country are calling for people who are ‘at risk’ to get their annual flu vaccine as soon as possible to beat the flu virus this winter. Flu is a serious illness and the vaccination is the most effective protection from the virus. People who are ‘at-risk’ can be hit harder with flu and can suffer more complications.

People that are eligible for the free flu vaccine are: those aged 65 and over, under 65s with existing long-term medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, multiple sclerosis and other heart, lung and liver diseases, pregnant women and unpaid carers of any age. Health and social care staff who deal directly with patients or clients are also recommended to receive the flu vaccine.

In addition, this year for the first time all children between 2 and Primary 7 will be offered the annual vaccine. In most cases the flu vaccine for children is given as a quick and painless nasal spray into each nostril.

If you are confused about whether you are eligible for the vaccine, or would like to find out more information about it, contact NHS Inform on 0800 22 44 88 or log on to for further information on immunisation programmes.

Further information will be available from December in preparation for the festive period, including GP and Pharmacy opening times.

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


NHS Borders works hard to prepare for winter. The Winter Plan 2017/18 can be found right here.