1. Why do you not have a generic email address that I can use to contact the practice?
NHS Lothian, who provide our IT infrstructure, do not currently permit the transmission of confidential or sensitive data (including person identifiable data) via email as it does not have the built in security which is required to be compliant with data regulations – the GDPR. You can read more about this here.
There are several ways in which you can communicate information to us electronically via our online forms, but if you have a question about the services we provide that isn’t answered in this website, or if you need clinical advice, please call us on 0131 228 6081, or come in to the practice.
2. Why can’t I order prescriptions over the phone?
We consider this to be a safety issue. We take the prescribing of any medication seriously, and require any requests for repeat medication to be done in writing. This helps to minimises the potential errors that could occur through miscommunication over the phone as many drugs have similar names.
There are a variety of ways you can request your repeat meds: Using our website form, by ticking the relevant items on your prescription counterfoil (and handing it in or mailing it to the practice), by filling out a repeat prescription request form available from reception, by faxing through your request on 0131 229 4330 or by asking your pharmacist to order it on your behalf.
3. If I hand my prescription request now, can you have it ready for me this afternoon?
No, it takes longer to process than this – please see our medication page for more information.
That being said, we understand that there can be genuine unforeseen emergencies and in those cases please hand your prescription request in to a member of the team to highlight that it’s an urgent – please don’t just post it through the prescription box as it will be among a pile of dozens and the fact that it is needed urgently could be easily missed.
The emergency GP will review and process requests the same day when there is a safety issue – otherwise the request will be processed the next working day.
4. Why does my repeat prescription request keep failing to send from your website?
a. If you haven’t completed all of the mandatory fields – it requires your name, date or birth and email address before the form will send.
b. If you are using an out of date or incompatible internet browser – as the software people use to access the internet improves and develops, the older versions of the software become incompatible with up-to-date web pages. It’s important to keep your software updated so that you can continue to access the websites you need and to make sure you are doing so safely and securely.
5. Can I get 6 months worth of medication at one time?
The standard across NHS Scotland is to allow for a maximum of 2 months worth of your medications to be issued at any one time. In the case of some controlled drugs, it’s only possible to get 1 month worth at a time. It may be the same if you have only just started on a new medication and your GP wishes to monitor you more often to ensure you are at the right dose and that there are no side-effects.
There are a very small number of exceptions, such as the contraceptive pill, where you may get 6 months worth at a time.
If you need more that 2 months worth for a specific reason (e.g. an extended holiday) you would need to discuss that with a GP. We have telephone consultation appointments available daily, which you can call to book from 8am. A longer supply may require a private (non-NHS) prescription.
6. Why am I being told I need a medication review before I can get more of my medication?
When your medication was first authorised to be available on repeat, it would only have been authorised for a limited amount of time (usually no more than a year). Before your medication can be re-authorised for another year you will need to see your usual GP for a “medication review”.
At Bruntsfield we try to keep patients to a birthday month system of reviews if possible as it spreads the workload evenly throughout the year, and make it easy for patients to remember when a review is due.
During your review your GP will ask questions related to the medications you are on to ensure nothing has changed since the previous authorisation, but it is also your chance to ask any medication related questions that you might have. If everything is satisfactory, the GP will re-authorise your medications for another year.
It may be possible for some medication reviews to be conducted over the phone, and you can call the Practice to book an on-the-day telephone consultation any day from 8am. There may also be times when one of the Practice Nurses can review your medications during your annual chronic disease review and they will pass a message on to the GP to re-authorise your meds for another year (e.g. if you are asthmatic and on inhalers).
7. Why will you not allow me to book further ahead in your appointment system?
We can only allow patients to book so far ahead because we need a certain amount of flexibility with the appointment schedule.
8. There is a long queue at reception, but I only want to check in for my appointment. Is there a quicker way?
If all you need to do is let us know that you’re here for your appointment then you can use our self-check in touchscreen to the right of the reception desk to do that. It’s very quick and easy and can save you waiting in a long queue. There is hand sanitiser next to the touchscreen for your protection.
Just tap the screen to begin and it will ask you the Month and then the Day of your birth to look through our appointment system for a match in the following 2 hours. If it finds multiple people with the same birthday it will also ask you for the first initial of your Surname. You just need to tap the screen to give your answers.
When it has found your apointment it will display the details for you to confirm they are what you are expecting.
After you’re all done you can take a seat in the waiting room – our appointments system will have updated itself to show that you have arrived.
Please remember that whether you do so via the touchscreen or at the reception desk, you need to check in every time you arrive for your appointment at the practice.
9. It’s past the scheduled time of my appointment, when will the GP/Nurse call for me?
While a member of the Patient Services team can let you know if a particular GP or Practice Nurse is running late, I’m afraid we have no way of knowing exactly how long it will be until you are seen. The standard length of an appointment is 10 minutes (with the exception of a few specific types of review that need longer) but some patients will sometimes need a little longer for their consultation. While all clinicians do their best to keep to time there will always be an element of the unknown that means a surgery will end up running late.
One way each patient can help a surgery run to time is to make sure you arrive on time for your appointment (currently around 15% of patients arrive late for their appointment), and if you have mutiple issue to discuss that you book a double appointment to deal with them.
10. I’m late for my appointment. Will the GP/Nurse still see me?
GP and Practice Nurse appointments are 10 minutes long as standard, so if you arrive 10 minutes late you will be asked to reschedule the appointment.
If you are only a couple of minutes late we may be able to confirm with the clinicians if they are able to see you, so please make sure you check in at reception rather than at the touchscreen.
If you are on your way to the Practice for your appointment and you know you are going to be late, it would be helpful if you could give us a call to let us know. We can then advise the clinician and establish if it is possible to take another patient early and fit you in later.