With GP practices closed for four days over the September bank holiday weekend North Ayrshire residents are being urged to prepare to cope with any common health concerns.

Community pharmacists can answer questions on choosing and using the right medicine and provide easy-to-understand advice on treating everyday ailments such as coughs, colds and flu. NHS 24 also has a number of pharmacists who are able to answer medicine and pharmacy-related questions over the telephone on 111. In addition, NHS inform has valuable advice – visit www.nhsinform.scot.

Roisin Kavanagh, Interim Director of Pharmacy, explains: “You can do a number of things to make sure you are prepared to deal with common illnesses. Have a sufficient supply of medicines like paracetamol, sore throat and cough remedies, as these will help to relieve the symptoms of common ailments.

“If you take regular medication, you should check your existing supplies and only order what you need to ensure you have enough to see you through the holiday weekend. It is also a good idea to make sure you know when your local GP practice and community pharmacy are closed.”

Over the September bank holiday Friday, September 20 to Monday, September 23, when GP practices are closed, you can still get advice from a community pharmacist or NHS 24.

Friday, September 20 most pharmacies will be open as normal, except:Dreghorn Pharmacy, Lawthorn Pharmacy, Townhead Pharmacy, Kilwinning and Care Pharmacy, Springside.

On Saturday and Sunday September 21 and 22 pharmacies open as normal.

However on Monday, September 23 all pharmacies will be closed, except: Boots, Rivergate, Irvine – open 10am-5pm.

Your community pharmacist can prescribe medication for you following a consultation and give you advice on the best way to take your medicines.

Going to the correct healthcare provider means you will be seen quicker and more efficiently. If you need a doctor or dentist and it cannot wait until your GP or dental surgery is open, call NHS 24 on 111.