Update 24 Sept 2020
Due to unforseen staffing problems we are limiting calls to urgent only. We apologise for this and hope to return to normal circumstances as soon as possible.
Unfortunately we are also experiencing ongoing intermittent faults with our telephone system. We are in contact with our supplier to try to resolve these as quickly as possible.
We realise how frustrating this will be if you are trying to contact us and appreciate your understanding and co-operation. Thank you.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR PATIENTS - UPDATED WEDNESDAY 2 SEPTEMBER
Due to the coronavirus pandemic and to ensure patient and staff safety, the way we normally offer services is currently different. Whilst things are going to be different for the foreseeable future we are pleased to announce that certain services are starting to be re-introduced. Any changes, updates and information on the re-introduction of services offered will be posted on this home page. Please keep checking here for updates as this is an ever changing situation.
IF YOU HAVE OR THINK YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS OF CORONAVIRUS
Please see the NHS Inform website for the most up to date guidance CORONAVIRUS ADVICE
If you’ve developed symptoms (however mild), stay at home for 10 days from the start of your symptoms and arrange to be tested. Do not go to your GP, pharmacy or hospital.
You should remain at home until you get the result of the test, and then follow the advice you will be given based on the result.
Read the NHS Inform stay at home guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection.
When to get help
Only phone 111 if:
- your symptoms worsen during home isolation, especially if you’re in a high or extremely high-risk group
- breathlessness develops or worsens, particularly if you’re in a high or extremely high-risk group
- your symptoms haven’t improved in 10 days
If you have a medical emergency, phone 999 and tell them you have coronavirus symptoms.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU ARE UNWELL
As at Wednesday 2 September, our doors remain closed for walk-ins and there is currently no access through the building between Ladywell East and Ladywell West. Both of these measures allow us to minimise footfall in the practice, maintain social distancing and, primarily, ensure the safety of patients and staff.
Although our doors are closed, we are working at full capacity, just in a different way to which we operated before coronavirus. We are now consulting, in the main, by telephone and we are still seeing a small number of patients face to face upon invite by the clinician.
Reception staff are available on our telephone lines from 8.00am - 6.00pm, Monday to Friday. Results available on the phone after 10.30am
We are currently not pre-booking appointments but we ask that you do not hesitate to call us if you have a health concern as we do not wish you to risk delay of diagnosis or treatment. We would ask that you consider the urgency of your health concern before calling.
Both urgent and routine GP matters will be dealt with from 8.00am - 1.00pm. After 1.00pm we will only deal with your call if it is an urgent matter so please try to call as early in the day as possible. On days when demand is extremely high the GPs may amend the time from which we start dealing with urgent matters only. This allows us to ensure we are providing as safe a service as possible for the patients who urgently require our attention.
Following your telephone call, the doctor or nurse may decide that you should have an appointment and will explain the process of attendance to you. We may also suggest a consultation via an alternative method and this will be discussed with you if appropriate.
If you are invited into the surgery, we ask you to please wear a face mask or some sort of face covering, if you are able to do so.
The demand for appointments has increased greatly in the past few weeks. Please be assured that we are offering our maximum number of appointments available. Whilst the appointments are mainly via telephone they still take the same amount of time as a face to face appointment would and face to face appointments are taking longer due to the extra safety measures taking place.
We would like to thank every patient and visitor who has and continue to help us to implement our restrictions. We appreciate that this is a frustrating time and you may be anxious about health matters but please be patient and kind to our staff and adhere to any requests for information. We have had a few incidents lately where our Reception team have been subject to abuse when taking calls from patients. We are all working hard to serve our community at this time and your patience and support is very much appreciated.
THE FUTURE OF GENERAL PRACTICE
General Practice in the future will be different as we have to ensure social distancing in the same way that every other organisation does. We do not have the physical capacity to deal with the same volume of patients as we did previously but we are here to help so please ask for help if you need it. Mondays are particularly busy at present so if your problem can wait please consider calling later in the week.
Some of the ways things will be different include:
- Telephone triage and telephone consultations will continue and video consulting may become more widespread with face to face consultations being the exception
- The practice may look different - you will be guided through various routes, the waiting room will have less chairs, there will be visible distancing markers, you may have to queue outside the building
- Clinical staff will continue to wear PPE - masks, gloves, aprons, face shields
- Social distancing should be adhered to at the practice as it is in any other environment
RE-INTRODUCTION OF SERVICES
The following services are now available from the Practice:
- Pre-chemo bloods - these have been available throughout
- Routine bloods - if you are seeing the GP and you need a blood test they will try to do this at the time to minimise your visits to the Practice, however, you can now book an appointment with the Nursing team for a required blood test.
- Cervical screening - If you are overdue a smear you may book an appointment now. We have been advised by NHS Lothian that routine screening recall invites will start to be sent out in late September.
- Breast screening - This re-started on Monday 3 August and the National Recall Programme is run from a central point and not from the Practice. Please see HEREfor further information on all types of National screening.
- BP check for patients taking the contraceptive pill
- BP check for patients taking HRT
- Sick lines - as determined by the GP, a sick line will be issued. This will be posted to you to save you attending the surgery if this is preferred
- Routine medical reports/insurance reports/other private letter or certificate work has re-started and we are completing reports as quickly as we can. We are still not undertaking any requiring physical examinations.
- Subject Access Requests - where possible we will complete these within the usual timescale of one month but if we are unable to complete your request within this time we will keep in touch with you.
SERVICES WHICH CONTINUE TO BE SUSPENDED
- Routine chronic disease management recalls - We are introducing an updated recall service from October 2020 based on your birth month so you may be called sooner or later than normal but should you have an underlying health condition and need medical advice please call the practice. You may have to attend for a blood test or other screening work but the majority of reviews will be done as telephone calls.
- Travel vaccinations - suspended for the foreseeable future.
- Ear syringing and ear checks.
- Practice based minor surgery and joint injections - due to start in October. Please be aware that due to the lockdown there is a waiting list but we will aim to catch up as quickly as possible. If you are already on the waiting list and feel your problem is becoming more urgent please do not hesitate to contact the Practice for advice.
- Other types of vaccinations other than those already noted - due to start in September but Nursing staff will advise whether your vaccination is required within a particular timescale if you feel it is urgent.
- HGV medical examinations - these have been suspended for the foreseeable future, however, the Government has announced that drivers who require an HGV medical examination can apply to have their licence extended.
- Adoption/Fostering and other medical examinations - suspended for the foreseeable future.
CHANGES TO CURRENT SERVICES
We are experiencing a very high volume of prescription requests at present.
Both the practice and the pharmacies have timescales for processing your request. The practice processing timescale is 2 full working days after we have received your request. Your pharmacy may have an amended policy for collection or delivery times, please ensure you are aware of their timescales. Only order what you require as over-ordering puts more pressure on the surgery and the pharmacies.
The pharmacies are also very busy with telephone calls asking if prescriptions are ready for collection. Please try to limit telephone calls to allow them to prepare the prescriptions.
Prescription ordering: Please order your prescription via one of our online services or put your written request in the letter box outside. Please also nominate a pharmacy for your prescription to be sent to. You can find detail of our online services in the prescriptions section of our website.
Prescription collection: All prescriptions are being sent to a pharmacy for patient collection. Please advise when ordering which pharmacy you would like your prescription sent to. You will then collect your prescription directly from the pharmacy meaning you only have to make one trip out.
Preferred pharmacy: If you would always wish your prescription to go to the same Pharmacy you can advise us and we can add a preferred pharmacy to your record. Should you change your pharmacy please let us know otherwise your prescription will continue to go to your original preferred pharmacy.
Get an isolation note to give to your employer by clicking on the link below and answering the questions.
You can send an isolation note to your employer as proof you need to stay off work because of COVID-19.
You don’t need to get a note from a GP.
Get an isolation note questionnaire
Can't get an isolation note?
You need to contact your employer if you require to shield from COVID-19 due to underlying conditions but are currently well. Please don't phone 111 or your GP.
Welfare Rights Officer
Should you require any welfare rights advice please call the Granton Information Centre office on 551 2459 or 552 0458. They are not seeing patients face to face but aim to do as much work as possible over the phone. If you are a new client you will be sent a mandate in the post which you will need to complete, sign and return to them directly before they will be able to do the phone appointment with you. They will give you all the information you require.
A new service has been set up by the Minor Injuries Unit allowing video consultation to take place. Please see link below for further information.
MIA - Minor Injuries Assessment - by video