Scotland’s deputy health minister has praised staff who keep the healthcare telephone advice line running over Christmas and the New Year and appealed to the public to use the service responsibly.

Lewis Macdonald paid tribute to the tireless work of front-line health staff over the festive season in advance of a visit to NHS 24’s Aberdeen contact centre. He will be given a tour of the centre and meet staff today (29 December).

He said: "This is the busiest time of the year and the staff at NHS 24 do a sterling job. The dedicated staff at NHS 24’s centre in Aberdeen are just some of the thousands of committed NHS workers across Scotland who ensure that round-the-clock care is provided over the festive season.

"People can be reassured that should they need to call NHS 24 over the Christmas and New Year period, they will receive the highest quality of care by trained call handlers and nursing staff who will be able to help them.

"I would also call on members of the public to remember that this is an extremely busy time of year for the emergency services and to use NHS 24 responsibly.”