March 2019 Update on appointments
We have been very aware that our appointments system is causing a lot of unhappiness amongst our patients. We have been reading the patient feedback forms and have been discussing with staff how to better manage our appointments. We are trying to make some changes to enable better appointment availability and better access to a GP of patient’s choice. As a result we are planning to make some of our routine GP appointments bookable in advance. These will continue to be telephone consultations in the first instance with the opportunity to discuss and arrange a surgery consultation or follow up as appropriate during that telephone consultation.
Most of our routine appointments will still only be available to book on the day. Emergency/urgent appointments will remain unchanged. We hope to trial this for a couple of months and your feedback during this time would be greatly appreciated.
Appointment Availability Week Starting 18th March 2019
As there can be some variation in the number of routine GP appointments available to book each day of the week, we would like to advise you on the days you are most likely to be able to book an appointment. We will update this information weekly.
Monday 18th March : Average availability (please bear in mind Monday tends to be our busiest day for patients seeking appointments.)
Tuesday 19th March : Average availability
Wednesday 20th March : Limited availability
Thursday 21st March : Limited availability
Friday 22nd March : Limited availability
Emergency surgeries run every day for patients with urgent medical problems that cannot wait until the next day for attention.
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.
Telephone Queuing System
Our practice has a telephone system that allows our patients to choose options, and allows calls to queue. One of the advantages of this system is that patients who require emergency assistance can choose our emergency option and their call is able to be given priority. Another advantage is that it is a fairer system as rather than our patients having to chance their luck with each redial, calls are placed in a queue and patients are helped in queue order. Our queue can hold up to twenty five calls at any one time, which is almost always more than enough. However, at our busiest time at half past eight each morning, sometimes more than twenty-five patients are trying to call through at the same time. In this case, the phone system will recommend calling again. In order to try to reduce the volume of calls first thing in the morning, we would very much appreciate if patients who are ringing with a routine question or query (as opposed to requesting an appointment) could ring after nine o' clock, if it is suitable for them. Thank you for your help.
Changes to Our Appointment System from 26th September 2017 - Signposting
Our practice is working in conjunction with Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership to improve our services for our patients. The partnership has been formed between NHS Lothian and Midlothian Council.
We know that every day our clinics are completely filled and that we are still unable to meet patient demand. There are a variety of reasons for this, such as the growing population size in Bonnyrigg, and the difficulties in managing to recruit locum doctors when they are required. However, with guidance from Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership, we have identified a new strategy that we hope will help more of our patients access appropriate treatment more easily:
• Signposting involves directing you to the health professional that will best be able to help you.
• The receptionists will ask you questions regarding the nature of your call. They will refer to careful guidance and protocols created by doctors in the practice and let you know who best can help you.
• You may be booked in for a telephone call with a doctor, booked in to see a nurse, or advised to self refer to a pharmacist or other service.
• Please have a look at our Signposting Page to see the wide range of services available to help you.
Thursday 6th September 2018 - Practice List Restricted
With effect from 6th September 2018 until further notice, our practice list is restricted for new patients.
We will only be accepting new babies, household members and assigned patients.
Currently all three practices in Bonnyrigg Health Centre are operating on this basis. Therefore, if you are not in one of the groups above, in order to register with a practice in the area you will be required to telephone NHS Lothian Practitioner Services on 0345 300 1024 (choose option 4). They will allocate you to a practice by letter. This is to ensure a fair allocation of new patients across all three Bonnyrigg practices. If you are allocated to our practice then please bring your letter from the Health Board with you when you attend to collect your registration forms. No patient moving into the area will be left without a GP.
Quit Your Way - Local Stop Smoking Services
Smokefree East and Midlothian is a local NHS run service to help you stop smoking. They have a base here in Bonnyrigg Health Centre and run drop in support groups across East and Midlothian. You can refer yourself by telephoning 0131 537 9914, and have the option of individual appointments if you do not wish or are unable to attend a group. You can also be referred by your GP. Local pharmacies also provide free stop smoking support and medication. Click here to read more about stopping smoking and to view the Smokefree support group timetable.
General Data Protection Regulation
General Data Protection Regulation is a new data protection law that comes into effect from 25th May 2018. We have created an information leaflet about this, which you can read as a .pdf file or as a Word document - please click on the links to open the leaflet.
Our practice keeps medical records confidential and complies with the General Data Protection Regulation. We hold your medical record so that we can provide you with safe care and treatment. You can read our Privacy Statement in full on our Data Protection page.
New Practice Physiotherapy Service
We have a Specialist Physiotherapist, as an alternative to an appointment with the GP, for people with a muscle, bone or joint problem.
The Physiotherapist can assess your condition and help you to develop a plan on how to manage it, and will liaise with the GP where required.
To help direct you to the most appropriate person we will need to ask a few questions. Please don’t be offended.
The practice physiotherapist does not provide ongoing treatment, however if this is required you can be referred on.
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.
Online Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Depression and Anxiety
Beating the Blues is an online treatment programme that uses cognitive behavioural therapy (sometimes known as C.B.T.) to help people experiencing depression and/or anxiety.
Click here to download the patient information leaflet. If you are interested in accessing the Beating the Blues service then please book a routine GP phone appointment to discuss this.
If the doctor feels this would be a suitable service for you then they will refer you and you will receive an activation code, which will allow you to access the online sessions.
Please note that if you are feeling suicidal, please ring the practice to speak urgently to a doctor, or telephone NHS 24 on 111 if the practice is closed.
Midlothian Wellbeing Access Point
If you are feeling low, stressed or anxious, you may find it helpful to access the Midlothian Wellbeing Access Point.
Click here to see their poster.
Read more about the service on our Midlothian Wellbeing Access Point web page.
**Please not that this service is not suitable for crises or emergencies.**
SHARE - NHS Research Scotland
SHARE is a new NHS Research Scotland initiative created to establish a register of people interested in participating in health research and who agree to allow SHARE to use the coded data in their various NHS computer records to check whether they might be suitable for health research studies. This access can be incredibly useful when it comes to developing new treatments and cures for a wide variety of health conditions. Participation is entirely voluntary.
Please click here to view their Participant information leaflet.
You can find out more about SHARE on their website, and can register online if you are interested - https://www.registerforshare.org/
Cervical Screening Campaign
NHS Scotland has released a new campaign. View the campaign film and read more about cervical screening here.
March 2017 New NHS Scotland Service - SPIRE
NHSScotland is improving the way it uses information from GP patient records. SPIRE is a service that will allow small amounts of information from GP practice records to be used to help doctors’ surgeries, NHSScotland and the Scottish Government to improve care and plan services, and to help researchers to learn more from patient information held at GP practices. Please read our SPIRE page to find out more.