Fever/high temperature (over 37.8)
New continuous cough
Loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste
Free helpline - 0800 028 2816.
Tests for Coronavirus - aged 5+
Call 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 www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or call 119.
If you are an essential worker speak to your manager as they may be able to organise priority testing.
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 - www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested/pages/overview/
Covid-19 Vaccinations for Unpaid Carers
You qualify as an unpaid carer and can self-register for the vaccine if:
You are 16 to 64 years old;
You provide face-to-face care and support to one or more family members, friends or neighbours;
The care you provide is not part of a contract or voluntary work;
If caring for someone under 18, they are affected by a disability, physical or mental ill health; and
You have not already received your first COVID-19 vaccination or vaccination appointment letter.
If all of these apply to you, you can register either online at https://register.vacs.nhs.scot/ or via the Covid vaccination helpline (0800 030 8013) from Monday 15 March.
You can read more about unpaid carers in this Information Leaflet from the Scottish Government.
Covid-19 Vaccination at Strathesk Medical Practice
Across Lothian, vaccination of the following groups of people is taking place at GP Practices:
- People over 80 years of age
- People aged 75-79
- People who are clinically extremely vulnerable (shielding)
- We have now completed the first round of vaccines for these patients in our practice.
Invitations to mass vaccination centres and visits to housebound patients are being administered nationally and are separate from the GP programme.
If you have received an appointment for a vaccination centre that is not suitable or you have not been sent an appointment yet but believe that you should have, then please do not telephone our practice as unfortunately we are unable to assist. Instead, you should visit this NHS Inform page.
We are very grateful for your patience while you wait your turn.
For more information about the vaccination programme please see:
NHS Lothian’s Vaccine Hub on their website
Self Isolation Advice - Understanding Self Isolation and Support
Please watch the video below to learn about self isolating during the coronavirus pandemic. This video is also available in British Sign Language, Polish, Arabic, Urdu, Bengali, Cantonese, Mandarin and Kurdish - click on the language you would like to view.
Coronavirus Information in Different Languages
The latest NHS Guidelines are available in many languages on the Doctors of the World website - www.doctorsoftheworld.org.uk/coronavirus-information/
There are also videos - www.doctorsoftheworld.org.uk/coronavirus-video-advice/ and posters - Arabic, Bengali, Chinese (Simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Italian, Polish, Romanian, Spanish and Urdu.
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.
Call 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.
Cold Symptoms versus Covid-19 symptoms - which does my child have?
Now that the children are back to school and nursery, there are lots of viruses around. Understandably, parents and carers may feel worried if their child is unwell.
If your child has any of the main symptoms of Covid-19 they should self isolate and you should call 0800 028 2816 or visit www.NHSinform.scot/test-and-protect to book a test
If your child does not have the main symptoms of Covid-19 but has other cold-like symptoms such as blocked/runny nose, headache and sore throat then we recommend you treat the cold as you normally would, with over the counter treatment. A Covid-19 test is not required. If your child does not feel well enough to attend school, you should keep them at home until they feel better. There is no need to contact your GP unless you are concerned that your child is seriously unwell.
Visit www.gov.scot/publications/common-cold-and-covid-19-symptoms-advice-for-parents-and-carers/ for the latest government advice.
Emergency Support from Midlothian Council
Not everyone has family or friends who are able to help them if they are unwell or require to self isolate. Midlothian Council Community Lifelong Learning Team are working with local resilience groups who can arrange support for you. These services are 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.
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.
The last few months have brought many challenges, not least for unpaid carers, many of whom have been unable to access any means of a break from caring, in any shape or form. Wee Breaks in Midlothian is open for applications and can assist any unpaid carer who is providing support for someone who lives in Midlothian. For more details on assistance for carers, please have a look at our Carers Page.
Patients Who Are Exempt From Face Coverings
Members of the public are now being asked to wear masks or face coverings in various situations such as on public transport and in shops. Wearing a face covering can feel uncomfortable, but we would recommend that you do wear one if possible, for your own safety. However, some people are exempt from having to do so for the reasons below:
- They have a disability or health condition that means they cannot put a covering on
- A covering will cause them severe distress or anxiety
- They need to communicate with someone who relies on lip reading
- They have a reasonable need to eat, drink or take medicine
You can read the most up to date information regarding face coverings on the Scottish Government website.
There is no requirement to obtain evidence in the form of a letter from a doctor or government that you are exempt, and our practice are not providing letters or certificates for patients who are exempt from wearing face coverings.
If you have a condition which means you cannot wear a face covering you need only advise if asked that you cannot wear a face covering because you are exempt.
We understand that some patients may feel more comfortable and confident if they were able to show a card or badge, and these are freely available to download or order on the internet.
Disability Equality Scotland have downloadable cards and links to organisations that can provide you with badges.
Changes to our GP practice
Our main waiting room has now reopened. You should only enter the Health Centre if you have an arranged appointment.
- Masks must be worn at all times.
- Please do not arrive more than five minutes before your appointment time.
- The reception desk is not open and you should check into your appointment using our self check in machine. Please sanitise your hands before you use the self check in machine and before you sit down.
- You will see that the waiting room is marked out into individual areas for patients to sit in. Please stay within your own zone, and do not leave the waiting room.
- The clinician you are due to see will collect you from the waiting room.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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 will no longer accept paper prescription requests.
- Instead we ask that patients request prescriptions online or via email email@example.com
- 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
- Please request fit notes via email firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
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
- 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.
- 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.