NHS Lanarkshire Charge Nurse, Agnes Erskine is putting others before herself this winter by working Christmas and Boxing Day at the Minor Injuries Unit in Kello Hospital, Biggar.

Instead of tucking into a festive lunch and settling down to watch the Queen’s speech, Agnes will be on duty, ready to help patients in need of urgent nursing care.  Lanarkshire’s five Minor Injury Units are open 7-days-a-week, 365-days-a-year and treat a range of injuries including sprains, strains, minor burns, bites and cuts.  An appointment is not needed, although waiting times will vary since patients are treated in order of greatest-need.

Agnes, who’s no stranger to working on public holidays said: “I have been a nurse with NHS Lanarkshire for nine years and working public holidays is all part of the job.  “Accidents can happen at any time and that’s why we’re open 365 days of the year.  And of course there’s a particular risk of falling in wintery weather with icy conditions under foot, with the elderly being particularly vulnerable.  “If you’ve suffered a sprain, a bump to the head, a deep cut or a minor burn and you think you need help but it’s not an emergency, then we’re here to help and can save you a lengthy wait at A&E. ”

Lanarkshire patients can find their nearest Minor Injury Unit, along with opening times, by visiting www.nhsinform.scot or by calling NHS Inform on 0800 22 44 88.  NHS Lanarkshire’s ‘Meet the Experts’ video also explains more about how Minor Injury Units can help at www.nhslanarkshire.org.uk

Agnes’ advice comes as part of the NHS Scotland winter health campaign ‘Be Health-Wise this Winter’ which is run in partnership with NHS 24 and local health boards.  Dr Laura Ryan is NHS 24’s Medical Director added:  “Well done to Agnes and her colleagues for working at one of the busiest times of the year for the NHS.  “The festive holidays are usually very busy, so it’s important that people are prepared for minor ailments by having remedies in at home.  Things like coughs and colds and upset stomachs can be looked after at home quickly and easily and for people who rely on repeat medication should make sure they have enough to cover the holidays”

The three things that the ‘Be Health-Wise this Winter’ campaign is recommending everyone do in preparation for their health :

  • Make sure you have some over the counter remedies in the house for minor ailments
  • Check you have enough repeat prescription medicines – order only what you need and make sure you pick them up in plenty of time
  • Know when your GP surgery and local community pharmacy will be open