COMPUTER PROBLEM FRIDAY 2 JULY -1700
Due to an NHS Lothian wide computer problem we are unable to access our server and medical information at present. NHS Staff are working at resolving the problem. We apologise for any inconvenience.
THE REASONS FOR OUR CURRENT ‘BOOK ON DAY’ APPOINTMENTS SYSTEM (15/6/21)
At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, GP surgeries were advised to implement emergency protocols around how we could safely continue to offer care for our patients. This involved a complete shift in how we practice and all consultations were to be conducted remotely and pre booked appointments were not appropriate. This dramatic change in protocol was to minimise patient risk as well as risk to staff. There was significant risk that surgeries could be closed due to outbreaks of covid within the surgery or that several staff may need to self-isolate. Such events would significantly impair the capacity of the practice to manage workload and potentially leave our 11,700 patients without medical cover.
Although covid restrictions are now easing there is still ongoing risk and we are still being advised to work with emergency protocols. Whilst we are also very keen to return to pre-booked appointments and face to face appointments, there is still an increasing risk of covid infection in Lothian currently and a potential third wave. The demand for GP appointments is currently at the highest level it has ever been historically and this is the same across Scotland and the UK. In order to manage that demand we need to have the majority of appointments on the day to accommodate acute illness. GPs are pre booking a few appointments at their discretion. If we open pre-booking at this time and reduce on the day appointments patients will have less timely access to a GP and the waiting time for a pre-booked appointments may be several weeks which we feel is not acceptable. There is greater risk of appointments being cancelled at short notice due to potential for clinicians requiring to self-isolate which indeed affected two of our GPs last week and one this week.
We understand this is not an ideal situation. We have no control over patient demand but in order to help manage this demand we made renovations to the surgery in March this year and created two extra consulting rooms. We have taken on an extra GP and also had an Advanced Nurse Practitioner for a period who could also see acute medical problems. We are hoping to be able to return to some sort of normality after the summer with the easing of restrictions and, assuming there is a relaxation of social distancing, we may be able to resume face to face consultations as routine.
LAUNCH OF THE COVID-19 VACCINE STATUS SCHEME (28/5/21)
This new service to allow patients travelling abroad to access their record of Covid-19 vaccination status themselves, by logging on to NHS Inform.scot/covid19status. This allows you to view your Covid-19 vaccination status.
For those patients without website access a letter of your Covid-19 vaccine status can be requested in the post via a Freephone Covid Status Helpline. 0808 196 8565.
Only those planning to travel to a country or territory where a record of vaccination status is needed as an entry requirement should download the record or request it.
There is a plan to replace this interim arrangement by digital Covid Status Certificates, which will include vaccination and testing data to be used for outbound international travel. However this is not yet available
Note: If you lose or forgot your username or password, you can create a new one by selecting 'forgot username' or 'forgot password' options.
If you are intending to travel abroad you should:
- check the entry requirements for your destination country on the UK foreign travel advice pages
- get up-to-date information from the website of your destination country
- check the re-entry requirements for your return to Scotland
- only request a vaccination record if it is absolutely required and you are due to travel in the next 21 days
SURGERY CLOSED FOR STAFF TRAINING 1245 - 1315
We now close our doors and do not accept routine phone calls 1245 - 1315 every Tuesday to allow time for staff training. If you have an emergency select option 1, otherwise please phone back after 1315. We apologise for any inconvenience, but this is the only time the practice now has to work together uninterrupted to train and update our processes. Thank you for your understanding.
Colinton Surgery Covid Vaccination catch up Clinics (updated 15/6/21)
We are currently trying to contact all of our patients who are 50+ or in at 'at risk' category who have not had any covid vaccination yet to offer them a vaccination. If you are in one of the priority groups 1-9 and now wish to have the vaccine please contact us.
All other vaccination invitations are being sent by a central NHS team, now working down from age 40. If you think that you should have received an invitation to a central vaccination clinic and have not, DO NOT PHONE US as we have absolutely no access to the centralised system. Instead please click the following link nhsinform.scot/covid-19-vaccine/invitations-and-appointments/missing-appointment-details and complete the online form or phone 0800 0308013.
For more information on the covid 19 vaccination programme run by NHS Lothian for patients under 75 go to nhsinform.scot/covid-19-vaccine or phone the Vaccination Helpline on 0800 030 8013.
'For COVID-19 increased risk in association with asthma, this only applies to those who have had a hospital admission for asthma or those who require continuous or frequently repeated courses of oral steroids. In contrast to flu vaccine eligibility, patients who are well controlled on asthma inhalers are not eligible in cohort 6 for priority COVID-19 vaccination.'
In addition, pregnancy is not a defined group for Covid 19 vaccinations (unlike for flu).
Concerns about the Astra Zeneca Vaccine (updated 8/4/21)
The GPs at Colinton Surgery appreciate the patient concerns raised by the news articles about the Astra Zeneca vaccine. The GPs request that you consider the following information which explains why the Astra Zeneca vaccine is still considered safe for our covid vaccination programme, instead of requesting to speak to a GP. The GPs will only be consulting the same information to explain it to you.
NHS Inform Leaflet on COVID-19 Vaccine and Blood Clotting. Click Here
NHS Inform Guidance on Side Effects. Click Here
Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) Information. Click Here
Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) Information. Click Here
Changes to Staff
Dr Reid retired on 31 March after 30 years service and will be greatly missed. Dr Simon Wells-Cole joined on 6 April 2021. He works Monday mornings and all day Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
Dr Joke Van Steenkiste (f) has joined us for 7 months until December.
Move of the Royal Hospital for Children and Young People to Little France (next to Royal Infirmary) from 23/3/21
From 23/3/21 all remaining Children's services presently located at Sciennes, including A&E will move to the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People at Little France. From 8am on Tuesday 23 march, all patients and any child or young person up to the age of 16 requiring access to A&E must go to the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People at Little France.
DO NOT ATTEND THE PRACTICE IF YOU ARE SUFFERING SYMPTOMS CONSISTENT WITH COVID-19
B12 - Management of B12 deficiency (updated 9/3/21)
If you have received a letter regarding possible changes to the management of your B12 deficiency. This is the link mentioned in the letter:
For CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION click here
For FLU VACCINATIONS click here
WEAR FACE COVERINGS IF ATTENDING THE PRACTICE.
It is very strongly recommended that a mask is worn when entering the surgery for your appointment. Thank you.
ALL APPOINTMENTS WITH A GP ARE RELEASED AT 8AM. ONLY MEDICALLY URGENT CALLS AFTER 16:45
Book on the Day Appointments System. At Colinton Surgery we are currently experiencing very high demand for appointments. We are constantly struggling to balance your wish to book an appointment for a future date against the requirements to have sufficient urgent on the day appointments available to all. We also have to consider the continuing and strengthening Covid-19 requirement and ensure that the practice can survive any test and protect issues within the team. For this reason we have taken the difficult decision to no longer offer appointments for future dates.
However, there is now also a limited option to pre-arrange in advance for a GP to phone you back between 1745 and 1830 on Mondays. These have to be arranged in advance and are only for patients who cannot phone between and 0800 and 0900 or cannot receive a return phone call from the GP at any time.
Other than the limited option stated above, if you wish to make an appointment on a future date you will need to phone us on that day. We aim to have more available appointments each day using this system. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience and bear with us during these continuing challenging times. Thank you.
Telephone consultations. In an attempt to limit your exposure to COVID-19 telephone consultations will occur first and a face to face to face appointment will only occur if it is required. If you require to speak to a doctor the receptionist will take your details, a brief description of your problem and the clinician will phone you back. Face to face appointments will still be offered by the clinician if it is felt to be necessary but only after a consultation on the telephone.
If you have a rash, wound or the symptom is visible, it can be very helpful to the clinician to see a photograph of the problem. If you are happy to, you can email a photograph before the telephone consultation to the clinical inbox at: email@example.com (DO NOT USE THIS EMAIL TO CONTACT THE GP/NURSE)
Please include in the email your name, date of birth and the clinician the photograph is to be forwarded to.
Please note: on receipt of your photograph(s) your email will be forwarded to the clinician dealing with your problem and deleted from clinical inbox. Your photograph will also be saved to your electronic medical record. If this is not acceptable to you for any reason then please do not send a photograph.
Only medically urgent calls after 16:45. Due to increasing demand at the Practice if you require clinical advice please contact the practice as early in the day as possible. Any calls that are not medically urgent, received after 16:45 will be asked to call back the following day.
NEW NHS EAR IRRIGATION SERVICE (from 30/11/20)
Colinton Surgery suspended its' Ear Irrigation Service throughout the covid pandemic due to the close contact covid risk of this procedure and a 50 % reduction in nurse capacity due to infection control and social distancing constraints. We will not be resuming the service here, but the NHS Community Treatment and Assessment Centre (CTAC) at Sighthill has just announced that it now has the capacity to resume this service.
Patients can now self refer for this service by either phoning the CTAC administration line on 0131-537-7205 or emailing CTAC.Allermuir@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk. In both cases you will need to state your Name, DOB, Address and that you are registered at Colinton Surgery. You will then receive an appointment by post. There may be a significant waiting list at the CTAC, but treatment with oil for 2 weeks is still recommended as the initial non intervention treatment and this should alleviate the symptoms. There remains the option to obtain ear irrigation treatment privately.
Using text messages to contact you is increasingly important and useful to the way in which we are now working. If you haven't yet signed up to our text messaging service, please see the section on our website (on the right hand side of this text) and apply. You will be asked for your permission for text messages during most phone calls to the surgery.
Dr Amanda Pringle is on maternity leave from May 21. For the following 12 months her post will be covered by Dr Elaine McAdam.
We have three doctors in training at the Practice:
Dr Gruffydd Perks (ST3) and
Dr Lindsay Keir (f) (ST1).
Dr Joke Van Steenkiste (f) (GP Enhanced Induction, 5/21 - 12/21)
All GP's in training are fully qualified doctors who are training to become GP's. We have a Senior GP Registrar (GPST3) who is based at the practice for a year, a junior registrar (GPST1) who is with us for 6 months
Travel vaccinations - unable to provide these if less than 6 weeks before departure. (suspended due to covid)
We always advise to contact us at least 8 weeks before travel as you may need a series of vaccinations at a set frequency. If you have less than 6 weeks before the date of departure we do not have the resources to provide the appropriate vaccinations and you are advised to contact a private specialist travel clinic.
Our Charity for 2021
Our selected charity for 2020 is the Ripple Retreat which is a locally run charity which supports a respite in Stirlingshire for the families of teenage cancer patients. Details are at www.Itsgood2give.co.uk
Chip and PIN debit card reader
We now have one installed to take payments from all cards except Solo.