There are not many instances in life where it doesn’t pay to be prepared. Winter can be a particularly unpredictable time with bad weather and unwelcome bugs so get ahead this year and get the information you need to make sure you won’t get caught out when the mercury drops.

In our winter section you can find helpful information and advice on looking after yourself throughout winter, as well as practical preparation tips, numbers to have on hand and useful links.

The easiest ways to help yourself and show others that you that you care are to:

    • Check your repeat prescription, order only what you need and in plenty of time
    • Ask your pharmacist for advice about winter health and medicines
    • Check NHS Inform for health and care information, including a range of self-help guides.

Keeping well 

Pharmacies services

Your local Pharmacist offers expert advice on medicines, general healthcare and lifestyle, as well as providing help for many common minor ailments.

Community Pharmacies can help over weekends and public holidays when GP surgeries may be closed.  Contact your Pharmacist, by telephone or in person, for health advice on a range of treatments. You can find out more information on the services local pharmacies provide here. Remember - If you run out of medicine you can also seek advice from your Pharmacist.

Accessing emergency contraception

A free emergency contraception and advice service may be available at your local Pharmacy. Sexual Health Fife can also assist you can find more information on their services here.

Pharmacy First

NHS Pharmacy First Scotland is an NHS service provided by your local community pharmacy.

You can use NHS Pharmacy First Scotland if you are registered with a GP practice in Scotland or you live in Scotland.

If you have a minor illness, a pharmacy is the first place you should go for advice. You do not usually need an appointment and you can go to any pharmacy.

Your pharmacist can give you advice for a minor illness, and medicine if they think you need it.

Know your first aid

Every year in the UK, thousands of people die or are seriously injured in incidents. Many deaths could be prevented if first aid is given before emergency services arrive.
If someone is injured you should:

  • first check that you and the casualty aren't in any danger, and, if possible, make the situation safe
  • if necessary, dial 999 or 112 for an ambulance
  • when it's safe to do so carry out basic first aid

See more about basic first aid at NHS Inform

Looking after mental health

The winter months are dark and with current advice to stay at home and avoid travel, some of us will experience periods of loneliness and even symptoms of depression. If you, a family member, a close friend or neighbour is experiencing despair or distress please call:

  • For medical emergencies, call 999.
  • NHS 24 on 111
  • Samaritans on 116 123
  • Breathing Space on 0800 838 587

Staying positive this winter

For general advice and tips about keeping well and staying positive during the winter months have a look at NHS inform’s 5 Steps guide. It has valuable advice about the value of building and maintaining relationships (especially when inter-household visiting is not possible), staying fit and healthy and how supporting others can have benefits both ways for our mental wellbeing.

Emergency contacts and useful numbers