Monday 21st September - September Public Holiday
The practice is closed on Monday 21st September. If you require urgent medical care while we are closed then please call NHS24 on 111. In the case of an emergency, please call 999 for an ambulance. The practice will reopen on Tuesday 22nd September at 8.30am.
Flu Vaccination Campaign 2020
The Flu Campaign is starting earlier than usual this year, at the end of September.
- More patients than ever before will be offered a flu vaccination this year. We will be offering vaccinations to half of our patients, over 4000 patients.
- There is no shortage of flu vaccinations this year so we appreciate your patience as we contact each group of eligible patients to attend for vaccinations.
- We must prioritise our most vulnerable patients and vaccinate them first.
- Patients who were on the shielding list and patients who live with a shielding patient will be vaccinated at a priority clinic at Midlothian Community Hospital. You will be sent a letter with further information on booking for this.
- Housebound patients will be vaccinated by the Community Vaccination Team. The practice will contact you with a date and time.
- Patients over 65 or under 65 in an at risk category will be contacted by the practice to arrange an appointment.
- Children in the 2-5 age category will have their Fluenz (nasal vaccine) organised by the Childhood Immunisation Team. You can telephone 07766922751 between the hours of 9am-12noon to arrange your child's flu vaccination from 16th of September to 27th of November.
- The services our practice is currently able to offer will be reduced during the flu campaign and there may be some days that we can provide emergency services.
- Local Pharmacies in the area (Cohen’s Pharmacy, Lloyds in Straiton, Dalkeith and Newtongrange, Rowlands in Bonnyrigg and Loanhead, Roslin Pharmacy and Lindsay and Gilmour Pharmacy in Woodburn) are also able to administer flu vaccines to those in the eligible groups at no cost.
For the latest Government advice and information on flu and flu vaccinations, please visit www.nhsinform.scot/flu or telephone 0800 22 44 88.
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.
The main symptoms of Covid-19 are:
New continuous cough
Fever/high temperature (over 37.8)
Loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste
If your child has any of these symptoms, they should self isolate and you should book a test as soon as possible by calling 0800 028 2816 or visiting www.NHSinform.scot/test-and-protect.
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.
Support for Carers During the Covid-19 Pandemic
VOCAL (Voice of Carers Across Lothian) have created a useful leaflet for carers to let them know what support is available to them during the pandemic.
You can download the leaflet - Support for Carers Leaflet
Please have a look at our Carers Information Page for more details on assistance for carers.
Midlothian Mental Health Services - Feedback from patients requested
Have you been supported by a mental health service in Midlothian? Or thought about accessing support? Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership are reviewing adult support in the community and would like to hear your views.
You can fill in their survey online - https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/MidlothianMentalHealth
If you would prefer to fill in a paper copy of the form then you can download one - Mental Health Survey
Paper copies of the form should be posted to Sheena Lowrie, Midlothian Health and Social Care Partnership, Fairfield House, 8 Lothian Road, Dalkeith, EH22 3AA.
You can keep up to date with the latest news from the Health and Social Care Partnership by visiting their Facebook page - MidlothianHSCP
29th July 2020 - Pharmacy First Service
Your local pharmacist can now help you with advice and treatment for minor illnesses, such as those listed below. If the pharmacist feels that you require to see a GP then they will advise you. You can read more about the Pharmacy First service on the NHS Inform Pharmacy First website. You can also download a Pharmacy First Patient Information Leaflet.
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.
Treatment Room Resumes Services on 20th July
The Treatment Room will offer appointments from 20th July onwards. You should telephone on 0131 537 9945 to arrange an appointment.
As the nurses and phlebotomists will have to ensure that their rooms are cleaned between each patient, there will be fewer appointments available than before.
The Health Centre is still closed to general public access at the moment, so you will be collected for your appointment from the Treatment Room Fire Exit at the rear of the building or, if you are disabled/wheelchair bound, from the front door. You should not attempt to enter the building on your own.
At the moment the Treatment Room will be prioritising appointments for injections and dressings. They are currently unable to offer routine appointments for ear syringing.
Emergency Call Button Scam
We understand that some patients from a GP surgery in Edinburgh have received a phone call from a scammer stating that they are calling from the GP practice and offering an emergency call button.
Our practice are not phoning patients to offer an emergency call button. We would like to advise any patients who receive a similar phone call to report this to the Police by dialing 101.
If you ever receive a phone call from somebody claiming to be calling from our practice but you feel unsure if the call is genuine, please let us know.
Please Wear A Mask When Attending Appointments
When attending the practice for an appointment we would be grateful if you could wear a face covering or mask.
This is important because social distancing at two metres is not possible when we have to examine you, take bloods or complete treatments.
If you are able to bring your own mask to your appointment then that would be appreciated, however we can provide a mask upon arrival if necessary.
July 2020 Routine Cervical Screening
Routine cervical screening was temporarily paused by NHS Scotland earlier this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. While the pandemic is currently still ongoing, cervical screening is slowly starting to return. You can read about how this will happen here - https://www.nhsinform.scot/cervicalscreeningresumes#cervical-screening-has-resumed
Patients who received an invitation to attend routine cervical screening before the screening was suspended in April will be given priority at the moment. If you received an invitation letter before April then please get in touch with us to book an appointment. If you are due to attend routine screening in the near future, please do not contact the practice to book your appointment until you have received an invitation letter to do so. However, if you have any symptoms you are concerned about, please book a GP appointment to discuss this.
NHS Scotland have created a patient leaflet to read - Cervical Screening Questions and Answers
Prescription Requests - Please telephone after 10am
Please remember that we cannot accept paper prescription requests at the moment. Instead we ask that you email the practice - firstname.lastname@example.org , or telephone us on 0131 322 9333. If you are telephoning the practice with a prescription request, please ring after 10am.
Podiatry Clinic Still Open
The Podiatry Clinic in Bonnyrigg Health Centre are still able to assist patients with nail problems and can offer you a telephone or video consultation. Please self refer to their service using the Podiatry Self Referral Form.
Midlothian Access Point Now Open - Phone and Video Consultations Only
Midlothian Access Point are available to help patients who feel low or stressed. They can give you a chance to talk about how you are feeling and how it is affecting your life. They are able to let you know about local services that can provide assistance and how you can access support that can help you. Please note that this service is not a crisis or emergency service.
They are currently offering telephone and video consultations only.
These are available on:
Monday mornings from 9.30am
Tuesday evenings until 7pm
Wednesday afternoons from 1pm
To book an appointment, please email your name and contact telephone number to Map@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk
If you do not have access to email but would like an appointment, please telephone the practice - we can email on your behalf.
For more information, click on Midlothian Access Point or download the Midlothian Access Point Poster.
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.
Accessing GP Care and Self Help Guidance
Midlothian Council are working with GP Practices across the county during the Coronavirus Pandemic. They have created a video with the help of local doctors to encourage patients to make use of NHS Inform Self Help Guides when deciding whether to contact your GP. You may be able to treat some simple medical conditions at home with self help. Please have a look at the video below. You should still always contact your GP with any urgent symptoms.
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/
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.
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 .
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.