Accessing Tests for Coronavirus
The Government have now made arrangements for all patients over the age of five years old with coronavirus symptoms (fever, cough, loss of sense of smell and/or taste) to be tested.
Remember that you should still telephone NHS24 on 111 if you require any advice or assistance regarding your 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 -tick 'Test sites in Scotland' or 'Request a home test kit' if you are unable to visit our local test site, which is based at Edinburgh Airport.
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/
25 May 2020 Return to Usual COVID-19 Limited Capacity Services
We would like to thank you for all of the lovely messages of support we have received over the past few days; your understanding is much appreciated.
We have now returned to our usual services as before, however due to COVID-19 we are still operating at limited capacity. In line with government advice, please only contact the practice with urgent or immediate medical problems.
21 May 2020 Emergencies Only Until Further Notice Due To Practice Bereavement
Minor Injury Assessment Video Consultations Now Available
The Minor Injury Clinics at the hospital can now offer a video call in our own home. If you have an injury such as a strain, sprain, suspected broken bone, wound or burn or musculoskeletal condition (joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves, tendons) then please call 07977 246 848 between 11am and 7pm. Video assessments are carried out by a specialist Nurse Practitioner using secure video consulting software that is private and confidential. The nurse will ask you questions, may look at your injury and advise you on the best next step, which could be self care advice, an appointment at the Minor Injury Unit or advice to use other helpful services such as your local pharmacy.
The service is not suitable for injuries from a week ago or more, patients seeking a second opinion, those who require emergency care (for example chest pain) or patients younger than one year old.
Why not download a Minor Injury Assessment poster to pop on your fridge door?
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.
GP Appointments During the Coronavirus Epidemic
In order to provide you with the best quality and safest healthcare, appointments are taking a little bit longer than usual. To help us reduce risk and ensure maximum safety for both patients and staff, clinicians need to change PPE (masks, gloves and aprons) in between patients and ensure their room and equipment has been cleaned and changed before the next patient arrives. We have also had to significantly reduce the number of rooms we are able to use for clinical examinations. This is having a big impact on our current capacity, however if you should have a serious health concern, do not hesitate to contact us. It is important that patients continue to raise any serious health worries with their doctor at the earliest possible opportunity and continue to attend appointments and blood tests when they are invited to do so.
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.
Accessing Emergency Support from the Midlothian Council Community Lifelong Learning Team
Not everyone has family or friends who are able to help them if they are unwell or require to self isolate due to Covid19. Midlothian Council Community Lifelong Learning Team are working with local resilience groups who can arrange support for you. These services are not only for those who are shielding or frail, but for anyone who requires emergency support, such as help with shopping, picking up a prescription or assistance with heating or electricity.
You can contact them by:
Read more on the website : https://www.midlothian.gov.uk/info/200296/coronavirus/645/support_during_self-isolation
Download the information leaflet: Emergency Help Guide
Prescription Requests - Please Allow Sufficient Time for Pharmacies To Issue These
During the COVID-19 epidemic our local pharmacies are dealing with unprecedented demand for prescriptions, and are also affected by short staffing at this time as a result of coronavirus.
We appreciate your patience when requesting and collecting your medication. If you have requested repeat medication, please allow a week before collecting it. If a doctor is issuing a prescription urgently for you on the day, such as an antibiotic, please try to allow at least four hours before going to collect your prescription.
Our pharmacy colleagues are working very hard and appreciate your understanding.
The Importance of Care Planning for Shielding Patients
The risk posed by Coronavirus is a scary prospect for most, however we understand this time is especially worrying for patients who have been issued with a Shielding letter from the government.
If you have received a letter from the Scottish Government advising that you are at very high risk for COVID-19 (Letter for patients considered to be very high risk) then you will receive a phone call from a clinician in our practice to discuss making a care plan that can be followed if you do become ill with COVID-19. We would encourage shielding patients to watch the video below, and discuss the issues with family and or friends.
Coronavirus Advice for Unpaid Carers
Midlothian Council has produced a useful web page for unpaid carers during the pandemic - https://www.midlothian.gov.uk/info/1352/carers/187/support_for_unpaid_adult_carers/2
Unpaid carers can be provided with personal protective equipment (gloves, aprons and masks) - please see the following leaflet to find out when you should use these and how to order them - PPE for unpaid carers information leaflet
The council also suggests that it would be helpful for carers to complete an Emergency Plan which includes information on the person you care for, and what help you provide them. This information is helpful in case you are unable to provide care, for example if you are unwell. You can download a Carers Emergency Plan here.
Minor Ailments Service at Your Local Pharmacy Now Available To All Patients
The NHS Minor Ailment Service is available at pharmacies across Scotland and can help you access healthcare advice about a minor illness or complaint and treatment, if necessary.
You can only use this service if you've registered with a community pharmacy in Scotland. Please speak to your local pharmacy if you would like to register.
You can read more about this service on the NHS Inform Minor Ailment Service page.
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.
Feeling Good - Positive Mindset App
You can download the Feeling Good app for your mobile phone or tablet for free by visiting this website if you would like help to relax. Many people are finding the Covid-19 pandemic very stressful and the Feeling Good app may help you.
For more information on helping your mental health, and accessing support, please also visit the Midlothian Wellbeing Access Point page on our website.
Remember to contact the practice if you are dealing with a mental health emergency.
Volunteering and Donations to help the NHS during the Covid-19 Pandemic
Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation has seen a huge number of kind offers of help and donations. If any patients are interested, please see the links below:
Volunteering: The Volunteering Team have received a large volume of enquiries and are managing these in a steady flow. Please contact the Volunteering team at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the website www.nhslothian.scot/GetInvolved/Volunteering/Pages/default.aspx
Donations: See the Edinburgh and Lothians Health Foundation appeal page at: www.justgiving.com/campaign/NHSLothian
Gifts-in-Kind: For offers of other items, including food and drink, toiletries, accommodation: Contact ELHF@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk The Foundation has created a register of gifts which they are coordinating with colleagues in NHS Lothian, and matching against requests for help.
30 March 2020 COVID-19 Special Advice for Patients Considered to be Very High Risk
This week the Scottish Government is sending letters to patients with diseases and conditions considered to be very high risk.
The conditions/diseases are listed below:
1. Solid organ transplant recipients
2. People with specific cancers:
People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer.
People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment People having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer.
People having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors.
People who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs.
3. People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD.
4. People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell).
5. People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection.
6. People who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired.
The letter advises that the safest course of action for these patients is to stay at home at all times and avoid face to face contact for at least twelve weeks, except from carers and healthcare workers who you must see as part of your medical care. The letter also has advice on how to stay safe, when to seek medical assistance, and how to access other support for daily living.
If you are a patient who is considered to be very high risk and you have not received your letter letter yet, you can read the letter by clicking on the link: Letter for patients considered to be very high risk. If you have not received a copy of this letter in the post by the end of the week, please telephone the practice to let us know.
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. 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.
Continuation of Immunisation Programmes during Covid-19 in Scotland
The Scottish Government has confirmed that regular vaccination programmes (such as baby immunisations) will continue.
Maggie's Centre has moved to phone, email and online support
Patients can no longer visit Maggie's Centre (which provides support to cancer patients and their families and friends) but they still want those of you who need help, advice or just a chat to get in touch with them by phone (0131 537 3131) or email - email@example.com .
Midlothian Wellbeing Access Point currently closed
Due to Covid-19, the Midlothian Wellbeing Access Point, normally held at Midlothian Community Hospital and Loganea Centre has been cancelled. Please see our Wellbeing Access Point page for full details, including alternative sources of support to help with your mental health. Click on the link to download their information sheet. In the case of a mental health emergency, please phone our practice for assistance.
Should I Isolate?
Here is a handy NHS issued guide on whether you and your family should isolate, and how long for:
COVID 19 – Changes to Our Services
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 continue to contact the practice by phone; do not attend the reception desk.
Prescriptions will be delivered to a pharmacy that is most convenient to you.
We appreciate your support and patience at this time and will endeavour to 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. Please look at our Home Page for the latest information.
Please keep updated by regularly visiting our website, and please follow our Facebook page:
Strathesk Medical Practice Facebook Page
Covid-19 Advice for Asthma Patients
Please visit www.asthma.org.uk for helpful advice regarding Covid-19.
Rowlands Pharmacy - Repeat Prescriptions
Rowlands Pharmacy have been in touch with our practice to explain that they are using offsite dispensing for repeat prescriptions. They have requested that patients order repeat prescriptions seven days before their medication is due to allow time for prescriptions to be delivered back to the shop, so please bear this in mind if you are a Rowlands customer. Rowlands can still dispense acute prescriptions on the day in their shop. If you have any questions, please telephone Rowlands Pharmacy in Bonnyrigg on 0131 663 8353 or Rowlands Pharmacy in Loanhead on 0131 440 0511.
Emailing Prescription Requests to Our Practice
Please can all patients who email prescription requests to our practice check that they are using our current email address, which we have had since 2016 : firstname.lastname@example.org
We have been made aware that some patients may still be using our old email address, which no longer works (email@example.com)
Emails to the old address were being redirected to our new email address until November this year, but no longer are.
Please update your email address book with firstname.lastname@example.org
Hormone Replacement Therapy National Shortage
If you are requesting a prescription for HRT, please be aware that the UK is currently facing a nationwide supply shortage.
Unfortunately our practice, and your local pharmacies have no control over this problem but we are trying our very best to assist the patients affected.
However you may face a delay in obtaining your prescription, and we appreciate your patience.
In some instances, it may be necessary for you to discuss an alternative treatment with a GP or Advanced Nurse Practitioner (rather than a Practice Nurse) before a prescription can be issued, and you will be advised if this is the case for you.
New Royal Hospital for Sick Children and Young People opening indefinitely delayed
As has been widely reported, the opening of the new hospital, which was due to open on 9th July 2019, has been indefinitely delayed. You can read the Scottish Government's response : https://news.gov.scot/news/update-on-royal-hospital-for-children-and-young-people
Please continue to use the existing Royal Hospital for Sick Children at Sciennes until further notice. We will update you with any further news as this becomes available.
New Midlothian Transport Guide
Forward Mid, Midlothian's Disability Equality Form, have created a brand new up to date transport guide for travelling from Midlothian. You can download this by clicking here.
Weekly Staff Training - Wednesday 12.30 - 1.30pm
The practice will be closed 12.30 - 1.30pm each Wednesday for staff training.
If you are arriving for a pre-booked appointment during this time, please just take a seat in the waiting room.
If you phone the practice when it is closed for staff training, you will be provided with a number to call if you require emergency GP assistance. For all other calls, please ring back when we re-open at half past one.
Self Check In now available
You may now check into your appointments using our Self Check In machine in the main waiting room. This is an optional service but patients may find it helpful if there is a queue at the reception desk. However in the case of any problems using the Self Check In machine, please let the receptionist know.
Patient Results - Best to Telephone
In our practice, clinicians are able to organise certain tests inhouse - we can check blood results, as well as take sputum, urine or stool samples and swabs when clinically required. The doctors are also able to refer patients to hospital for x-rays, ultrasound scans and MRI scans as required.
The results of the tests that your doctor or nurse have arranged return to the practice and you are able to contact us to find these out. We recommend you telephone the practice for your results rather than ask for them at reception desk. This is because it is more confidential. If you ask for your results at our reception desk, your conversation with the receptionist may be overheard by others. You may ring for your results after 10.00 am each day.
We do understand that sometimes a patient may not be able to telephone the practice, for example if they do not have a telephone or cannot use one, and if this is the case we will always try to maintain confidentiality at our reception desk.