With medical services under increasing pressure, NHS Ayrshire & Arran have launched a winter health hub to let people know how to access care over the festive period.

The hub can be now found on the NHS Ayrshire & Arran public website.

Dr Crawford McGuffie, medical director said: “This is a challenging time for our health and care services. In Ayrshire and Arran, we continue to experience significant pressures across our whole health and care system.

“And so, during the busy winter period, it is more important than ever that we use our services appropriately. Whatever your health and care needs, we want to make sure you receive the right care, in the right place, at the right time.

“The winter health hub explains the services available to you this winter and gives advice on how you can help us keep you and our NHS safe by using our services wisely.”

The guide provides information on a range of health and care services, including:

  • Services available over Christmas and New Year, including information on festive opening hours for GPs, dentists and community pharmacies;
  • Right care, right place;
  • Cost of living support;
  • Winter vaccines;
  • Winter illness advice;
  • Sexual health services;
  • Mental health support; and
  • Alcohol and drug support.

The hub also provides a checklist to help you prepare for winter:

  • Make sure you are aware of where to get the right care at the right place.
  • Check your medicine cabinet. Make sure you have a supply of necessary over-the counter medicines to treat coughs, colds and minor ailments.
  • If you take regular medication, check your existing supplies and only order what you need.
  • Make sure you know when your GP, dentist and community pharmacy are open over the festive period.  
  • Look after your mental health and wellbeing. You can find information on support available from Mental wellbeing | NHS inform
  • Check in on friends, family and neighbours.
  • For information on how to best treat your symptoms at home, use the symptom checker at NHS Inform.  

To access the winter health hub, visit https://www.nhsaaa.net/services/services-a-z/winter-health-hub/.