Information for patients - update - as at 1 June
WHAT TO DO IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE OR MIGHT BE AT RISK OF CORONAVIRUS
If you are concerned you may have symptoms of COVID-19 (Fever, New Persistent Cough, Shortness of Breath or Loss of Taste or Smell), please DO NOT come to the practice. Please book a test via https://www.nhsinform.scot/
If you have booked a test or are waiting on a result you should remain at home until you get the result of the test then follow the advice you are given based on the result. Attending the practice puts other patients and our staff at risk.
When to get medical help
Phone NHS24 on 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.
As we look to the future and to allow us to provide information for patients on our services we have moved coronavirus information to the Further Information section of our website. New topic headings will be detailed here initially.
*NEW* Covid-19 vaccination status scheme launched
*NEW* Community Testing at Blackhall Library (7-13 June) and other sites and ordering of lateral flow testing kits
In March 2020 we had to make significant changes to the way in which we offered our services in order to keep patients and staff safe. We never expected the temporary changes to last as long as they have but as the situation starts to become more positive and we look to the future we have been assessing our working practices, both old and new, to determine the best way to move forward. We have noted the benefits of some of the new ways of working, to both patients and staff, and would like to incorporate these within our systems in the future.
Information on the way our services are offered will be posted on this page. Please keep checking here for updates as this is an ever changing situation.
We would 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. With demand understandably rising rapidly now that patients feel more comfortable about being out and/or having put off dealing with health matters we do also ask that you consider the urgency of your health concern before calling. Mondays are particularly busy at present so if your problem can wait please consider calling later in the week.
Guidance for primary care has not changed significantly and we continue to follow Scottish Government guidance with regards to access to the practice. This will continue for the foreseeable future until we are advised that it is safe to start lifting restrictions in a medical environment. At this point we will advise patients of how our services will start to be re-introduced. We envisage this to be on a phased basis.
In the meantime, General Practice will continue to 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.
Some of the ways things will be different include:
- Initial telephone consultations will continue with your management determined at the initial call.
- 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 and non-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.
- Patients and visitors should wear a face mask or face covering whilst in the building, unless exempt.
As at 1 June there is no access through the building between Ladywell East and Ladywell West. This measure allows us to minimise footfall in the practice, maintain social distancing and, primarily, ensure the safety of patients and staff.
All our appointments and now offered by telephone in the first instance but we are still seeing patients face to face upon invite by the clinician where there is a clinical need. We are sending prescriptions directly to pharmacies so that you do not have to come and collect them and we are sending sick lines directly to you via post where relevant. Online patient registration is also available.
As expected the demand for appointments continues to increase. Please be assured that we are offering our maximum number of appointments available. Whilst the appointments are mainly via telephone they still take at least the same amount of time as a previous face to face appointments would. Face to face appointments are taking longer due to the extra safety measures taking place. In order to provide the safest service to our patients, on days when demand is extremely high and/or staffing levels are low and we have reached a capacity for safe working, the clinicians may conclude that they are only able to deal with urgent matters and you will be advised of this by reception staff. This allows us to ensure we are providing as safe a service as possible for the patients who urgently require our attention.
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 all try our best to look after your health and to help with any queries or concerns you have and have done so all through the pandemic. Please think twice before raising your voice, swearing or making unreasonable demands. We are all human too. 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.
What to do if you are unwell - appointment system
- Phone the practice on 0131 334 5000 between 8.00am - 6.00pm, Monday to Friday
- Reception staff will take brief details of your problem to allow the clinician to prioritise their workload and you will be fitted into a telephone consultation
- Booking for routine matters will be dealt with up to 4.00pm each day unless capacity for safe working is reached before this time
- If capacity for safe working is reached before 4.00pm you will be advised by reception and an alternative method of help offered. This allows us to ensure we are providing as safe a service as possible for the patients who urgently require our attention
- Telephone consultations can be pre-booked up to 2 weeks in advance for non-urgent matters or specific clinicians
- Telephone consultations are either morning or afternoon but you will not be given an exact time
- The clinician will try to contact you twice and we would ask that you keep your phone switched on. Please be aware the practice number will be withheld or private. If you miss your call it is your responsibility to call back
- During your telephone consultation with the clinician the most appropriate method of care for your problem will be determined - this may be on the telephone during the call, via a face to face appointment, by another service or via video consultation
- Most matters can wait for the next available routine session, however, if you have an emergency or very urgent matter please advise reception
- Please ensure if you no longer require your callback or cannot attend your appointment for any reason that you let us know so that we can then offer this to another patient. You can do this by using the cancel appointment option at the bottom of the home page or by calling in person
- Results are available after 10.30am
- For a home visit please call before 11.00am if possible
Following your initial telephone call, your clinician may decide that you should have an appointment and will explain the process of attendance to you. If you are invited into the practice for an appointment:
- Please do not attend early for your appointment - you may be asked to wait outside as we are reducing the number of patients in the waiting room at any one time to adhere to government social distancing guidelines
- Please wear a face mask or some sort of face covering, unless exempt from doing so
- Please come alone unless you require assistance
NEW SERVICES - NOT AT THE PRACTICE
- Ear syringing and ear checks are now done at the Sighthill Community Treatment Centre and you can contact them directly for this service.
- To arrange an appointment please call 0131 537 7005. The telephone line is automated and you should listen to the message and leave the requested details. You will then get the next available appointment booked and be sent an appointment letter in the post.
- To amend or cancel an appointment please call 0131 537 7205.
SERVICES - RESTRICTED
The majority of services are now back up and running but there are several services which continue to be restricted. This is an ever changing situation so please be aware of this when discussing with reception staff.
- Travel vaccinations - suspended for the foreseeable future. Please contact the WGH Travel Clinic or a private travel clinic for further advice.
- Ear syringing and ear checks at the practice - you can contact the Sighthill Community Treatment Centre directly for this service. They can be contacted on 0131 537 7005. This is mainly an automated service. Please leave the requested details and you will then be sent an appointment letter in the post.
- 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.
SERVICES - AMENDED
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.
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.
Sick lines will be posted to you unless a different arrangement is agreed with your clinician.
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.
New patient registration
New patient registration forms and the process for registering can be found in the New Patients section of our website.
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.
Practice Vaccination Programme
We have now completed the practice covid vaccination programme and the Community Vaccination Team have completed their visits for housebound patients.
Thank you to all patients who attended for their vaccination and made these clinics a huge success.
The way patients access urgent care has changed due to coronavirus and if you use the NHS wisely this winter you can get help quickly, safely and as close to home as possible.
To protect yourselves and the NHS, it's important you know how to get the right care, in the right place.
For full information please see the NHS Inform website Right Care, Right Place
Phone NHS 24 first on 111
If you think you need to visit an Emergency Department (A&E), but it's not life threatening, or you think you need to visit a Minor Injury Unit call NHS 24 on 111 first, day or night.
In an emergency always call 999 or go to your local A&E.
NHS 24 will direct you to the right care in the right place. This might include self-care, local pharmacy, GP or dental practice, optician or a minor injuries video consultation with Call MIA.
If you need A&E or a Minor Injury service you may be given a telephone or video appointment or a suitable time to attend hospital safely in person.
You can also continue to access healthcare information and resources on the NHS inform website, access advice at your local pharmacy through Pharmacy First and contact your local GP practice during normal opening hours for urgent and routine care.
These new measures will help to keep everyone safe and well and to follow coronavirus guidelines.
Accessing care services
Everyone is now being asked to:
- Visit NHS inform for advice on common symptoms, guidance for self-help and where to go if further medical care is needed;
- Contact your local GP practice during the day for an appointment or over the phone advice;
- Contact your local pharmacy for advice through Pharmacy First;
- Call 111 day or night when they think they need A&E, but it is not life-threatening;
- Call 111 to arrange a consultation with Call MIA, our video call service for minor injuries including sprains, cuts, burns and suspected broken bones or arms and legs or for an appointment at a Minor Injury Unit;
- Call 111 and select the Mental Health Hub to access mental health advice and guidance or call the Breathing Space telephone helpline on 0800 83 85 87;
- Call 111 or use NHS inform out of hours when they are too ill to wait for their GP practice to open, or for worsening symptoms of COVID-19
- Always dial 999 or attend A&E in a life-threatening emergency
Accessibility and More information
If you use a textphone you can phone NHS 24's 111 services (18001 111).
If you are deaf but want to use the phone service you can use the ContactSCOTLAND-BSL interpreting video relay service
COMMUNITY HEALTH SERVICES - UPDATE
If you are wondering how health services are different as a result of coronavirus or which service is right for you please see NHS Inform - Community Health
(Site updated 16/06/2021)