Click the link for the latest Government advice: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Updates on public health advice for coronavirus can be found on the NHS Inform website, and a free helpline has been set up for those who do not have symptoms but are looking for general health advice: 0800 028 2816.
Accessing Tests for Coronavirus
The Government have now made arrangements for all patients over the age of five years old with coronavirus symptoms to be tested.
The symptoms are:
- Loss of sense of smell and/or taste
You should telephone NHS24 on 111 if you require any advice or assistance regarding your symptoms. Please do not call the practice regarding coronavirus symptoms.
You should only apply for a test if you have symptoms. You can apply for a test on https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test
Telephone 119 to arrange a test if you have problems using the internet.
If you are an essential worker your employer may be able to organise priority testing for you, so please speak to your manager if this is the case.
The test is most effective if taken within three days of your symptoms starting, but can still be effective up until day five.
You can read more about testing on the Scottish Government website : https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested/pages/overview/
Accessing Coronavirus Information in Different Languages
Is English not your first language? Are you finding it difficult to keep up to date with the latest information on how to stay safe during the coronavirus epidemic? The latest NHS Guidelines regarding Coronavirus are now available in many languages on the Doctors of the World website https://www.doctorsoftheworld.org.uk/coronavirus-information/
There are also videos on the website, including ones suitable for parents and children: https://www.doctorsoftheworld.org.uk/coronavirus-video-advice/
Please share these links with any friends or family members who do not have English as their first language.
There are also simple posters with essential Covid-19 information available to download - please click on the language to download the poster: Arabic, Bengali, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Italian, Polish, Romanian, Spanish and Urdu.
Advice and Support For Those Recovering from Coronavirus
The NHS Lothian Rehabilitation Team are providing a helpline for patients who are recovering from coronavirus but are concerned about how to cope with persistent symptoms such as breathlessness, cough and fatigue. They can also help you with your mental health and any anxiety, how to manage any pain and how to deal with getting back to work. Some patients take longer to recover than others, and the team are there to provide support and reassurance on all aspects of your recovery, and can also refer you on to other specialists if required.
The phone number is 07969 334 704
The phone line is open from Monday to Friday 9am - 12 noon but if you ring outwith these times the team will aim to get back to you within one working day.
COVID 19 – Changes to Your GP Service
In line with Government advice to help slow the spread of Coronavirus from Monday 16th March we have been advised all routine appointments should be cancelled and postponed.
Please only contact the practice with urgent or immediate medical problems.
Please contact the practice by telephone - 0131 322 9333.
Prescriptions will be delivered to a pharmacy that is most convenient to you.
We appreciate your support and patience at this time and will keep you updated as information changes.
Our practice is currently following NHS Lothian Emergency Planning Guidelines so that we are able to continue to offer essential services to our patients.
We appreciate that there are a lot of changes to take in, which are outlined below.
Please keep updated by continuing to visit our this page on our website - there are also updates on our News Page, and please follow our Facebook page:Strathesk Medical Practice Facebook Page
Bonnyrigg Health Centre Main Entrance Door Closed
Unfortunately as a result of people not respecting the need for social distancing within Bonnyrigg Health Centre, and for the need to telephone before coming in, the main internal doors are now closed until further notice. The main external doors will be used by Cohens to allow patients to collect prescriptions.
Patients should not be attending any other appointments in the building except by prior arrangement and following a telephone consultation.
Patients will be given a time to come in and allocated an access door to enter for each practice or service.
Please wear a mask when you attend an appointment.
You will not be allowed to access the building without a prior telephone call.Our practice has made arrangements for the collection of prescriptions by the pharmacies.
Prescriptions can still be ordered by telephone or email and all patients who phone will be appropriately triaged by the clinical teams.
Please be assured that all patients who need to see a GP will be seen.
We have taken these steps to make sure that all our staff are protected as much as possible so that our services can continue in the weeks that lie ahead
It has come to our attention that some patients who have had to attend the health centre for appointments have been unhappy with waiting outside to be collected by their clinician. Each clinician has been instructed to only allow the patient they are seeing to enter the building; this is to minimise contamination risk through the building. We understand that weather can be changeable and clinician's appointments can overrun at times, making the wait less than comfortable. Unfortunately this precaution is necessary in order to protect our staff, our patients and you. Patients should arrive at their appointment time rather than earlier to save them from having to wait. If the weather is bad, you are welcome to wait in your car or under cover; let the receptionist know this is what you're doing and we can alert you when the clinician is ready to let you in at the door. It takes time for clinicians to kit up in protective clothing and clean the room before their next patient. We have tried to allocate time for this. Please bear with us, your patience is greatly appreciated and the well wishes that we have received really help to brighten our days.
GP Consultations With Patient Photographs
Patient safety is our priority during the coronavirus epidemic and wherever possible the doctor will try to help you on the telephone rather than asking you to come to an appointment, to reduce the number of patients having to come into the health centre. If the doctor needs to see you in person to assess you properly then they will always arrange this. However, when appropriate, the doctor may ask if you would email a photograph to our prescription email address so that they can assess what is wrong without you having to attend.There are a few things you should be aware of:
- You should only email a photograph if the doctor asks you to. Only photo emails that have been requested by the doctor will be opened.
- The email address is email@example.com
- The practice cannot guarantee that if you send a photograph from your email account that it will be secure, and there is no guarantee the email will be received by the practice. It is up to you to decide whether you feel your email provider is sufficiently secure, and we will understand if you do not wish to send a photograph via email. The doctor will discuss alternative options with you if this is the case.
- When you send an email you will receive an automated reply to let you know we have received the email.
- Suitable images that you send will be saved in your health record.
- For full details on this service, read our Emailed Clinical Images Patient Guide.
We hope that you will find this new way of consulting to be convenient and helpful.
Prescriptions – Temporary Change to Services Due to Covid 19
- We will no longer accept paper prescription requests.
- Instead we ask that patients request prescriptions online or via email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Patients who do not have access to the internet can telephone the practice with requests - please telephone after 10am.
- Patients may ask their usual pharmacy to order their medications – please ask them on the phone or in person, as they are no longer accepting paper requests either.
- Please do not come to the practice to collect your prescription.
- We will send your prescription directly to a local pharmacist.
- If you are not currently registered with a local pharmacy, please let us know which pharmacy you would like your prescription to be sent to.
- Please allow one week between requesting and collecting repeat prescriptions.
Fit Note (Sick line) Requests – Temporary Change to Procedure Due to Covid 19
- Please request fit notes via email email@example.com
- If you do not have internet access, we will accept your request over the telephone.
- All fit notes will be posted to patients; they cannot be collected from the practice.
- The practice will not be issuing sick lines for patients who are self isolating due to Covid-19, however employers should respect the need to stay at home, please see guidance from HRMC for more details.
- If, following official advice, you are self isolating for 7 to 14 days because you are unwell or someone in your household is unwell, please visit the Official NHS Isolation Note website to obtain an isolation note.
- Patients who are considered to be very high risk, who should not leave the house for the next 12 weeks, have been identified by the Scottish Government and they have sent letters directly to these patients. The letter is evidence for your employer, to show that you cannot work outside the home, and you should tell your employer if you receive one. You do not need a separate fit note from your GP. See our News Page for further information.
Blood Test Appointments – Temporary Change to Services Due to Covid 19
- Not all blood tests that have been planned for patients are essential.
- Clinicians will be reviewing the notes of patients who were due to have blood tests and will make decisions on whether the blood test is required at this time. If your blood test is not required, a receptionist will be asked to let you know.
- Essential blood tests will continue to be taken.
- Please wear a mask when you attend an appointment.
Contraception and Hormone Replacement Therapy – Temporary Change to Services Due to Covid 19
- Appointments can still be booked for depo contraception injections, as long as you are well on the day of your appointment.
- We are now booking telephone appointments with the practice nurses for patients for repeat HRT reviews.
- If you are considering a contraception implant or coil insertion, or require a coil change then please phone the practice to book a telephone appointment with a practice nurse.
- Please note, C Card can now post condoms and lubricant to you - please click www.ccard.org.uk/free-condoms-by-post/ to order.
Cervical Smear Appointments
Postnatal Checks and Baby Checks - – Temporary Change to Services Due to Covid 19
- New mothers can book a GP telephone appointment for their six week check.
- Our doctors will not routinely see babies for a six week check.
- Health visitors will continue to see babies for their first imms. Please discuss any concerns about your baby with your health visitor, who will seek GP advice if required.
- If you have any urgent concerns regarding your baby, we can arrange for a GP to phone you back.
Travel Clinic – Temporary Change to Services Due to Covid 19
- We are currently unable to provide a travel clinic service.
Drug Misuse Clinics
- These will run as usual and patients can attend as long as they are well.
Chronic Disease Clinics – Temporary Change to Services Due to Covid 19
- Patients will no longer be invited to book Practice Nurse appointments to review chronic conditions.
- If you have recently been sent a letter or text inviting you to make a routine appointment, we are sorry but we are unable to book these.
- Patients who are currently under review regarding a chronic disease (for example, if you have recently been started on a new blood pressure medication) will be followed up if a clinician agrees that this is necessary.
Private Work – Temporary Change to Services Due to Covid 19
- We are no longer able to provide medicals (e.g. HGV medicals)
- We are no longer able to complete insurance reports – please advise your insurance company that your GP is currently unable to offer essential services to patients.