Practice Newsfeed

lmc
11th Jun

Lothian Medical Committee update

At our practice, we are given regular feedback that expresses concern about changes to the services offered throughout NHS Lothian.
The Lothian Local Medical Committee, a regional division of the British Medical Association (BMA), has compiled a summary detailing some of the obstacles encountered in delivering community healthcare. This summary aims to shed some light on the complexities involved in ensuring the health and well-being of our patients. It is reproduced below.
 
Why are your GP practices now unable to do everything they once were?
General Practice across the country has been struggling for years. However it has now reached a critical situation with less money, less doctors and less staff to meet the growing needs of the Scottish population. So how did we get here?
In 2017, the Scottish Government recognised this and promised to introduce a new contract, starting in 2018 and to be fully implemented within 3 years. At the time, the then Health Secretary Shona Robison MSP said “We equally recognised the fundamental challenges faced by general practice, not least growing workload and increasing risk”.
Unfortunately, for the first time in the history of the NHS, large parts of this contract have not been implemented. Even worse, when Health Boards haven’t been able to spend the money that they were given to employ additional pharmacists and other professionals to support General Practice, the money has had to be returned to Scottish Government rather than being able to be spent supporting your local practice.
Scottish Government promised transitional payments to practices to recognise the non-delivery of this contract, but then withdrew that funding, even after some practices had already used the money for additional cover.
There have been many further challenges both local and national since then;
• Over half of the practices in Lothian have recently received huge bills for their facilities from NHS Lothian, over and above what they were already paying. This will amount to £1.6 million per year across the practices affected and, without any additional funding coming into practices, it’s likely this will lead to reduced staffing, with fewer appointments and longer waits to be seen.
• All practices in Lothian are impacted by Scottish Government not funding an increase in compulsory pension contributions. This is only occurring in General Practice in Scotland as English and Welsh Governments have already committed to paying this, and there is funding in place for all staff in hospitals. Again, this comes out of the funding available to practices to pay for administrative staff, nurses and doctors.
• Many people don’t know that the funding for practices comes through a national formula and doesn’t reflect how many times patients are seen. Practices are paid the same whether you are seen once or a hundred times per year. In 2017, the Scottish Government recognised that it wasn’t sufficient and promised to move towards a new funding model. This still hasn’t happened, and the funding uplifts have been substantially below inflation since then.
• The average patient used to contact their practice 3-4 times per year. This has increased to 6-7. The reasons for this are multiple and include more elderly, more people with illness (often multiple) and more treatment options. The large growth in waiting lists has also had a big impact, with GP appointments being taken up with ongoing management whilst awaiting definitive procedures.
• We all know how much energy costs have risen over the last couple of years and with insufficient funding to cover this, again this money comes out of the services practices can provide.
• Part of the funding which comes from government every year is earmarked for non-GP staff pay rises e.g. receptionists, nursing staff, practice managers. This has always matched what was given to staff working elsewhere in the NHS. But for the first time last year, the Scottish Government decided to break this link, meaning practices had to fund the shortfall or risk losing staff.
• The number of GPs in Scotland is falling. As part of the 2017 contract the Scottish Government promised that numbers would rise by 800, however when doctors in training are excluded from the figures, the numbers are actually reducing! Since 2013, the GP WTE (whole time equivalent) workforce has fallen by 5.35% - a fall of 196.7 WTE GPs. In that same time period, the number of practices has fallen by 9%, average list sizes have increased by 18% and the total patient population has increased by 7%. 42% of practices in Scotland report at least one GP vacancy. The number of GP partners has reduced by 14% between 2012 and 2022. In the last 20 years the ratio of GPs to hospital consultants has halved, despite many things which used to be done in hospital now commonly being done in practice, and this reflects the falling share of the NHS budget spent in General Practice.
• In many areas, practice buildings are too small and are outdated. Unfortunately, Scottish Government has now cancelled all funding for new builds, leaving many working out of buildings no longer fit for purpose. Scottish Government has also withdrawn sustainability loans, a scheme to reduce the risk for GPs who own their building. This leads to financial loss which again impacts on the services they can deliver.
• With less staff and more work, better IT would help improve efficiency. Our IT is cumbersome and unreliable which often impacts on the care of our patients, increasing inefficiency and damaging staff morale. We are the only country in Britain still using paper prescriptions - this alone costs a huge amount of clinical, administrative and patient time.
• In order to make systems better we need time to learn and develop. We used to receive ten half days per year to work with our teams on making practices better for everyone. The support for this was withdrawn by NHS24 and Scottish Government have done very little to reintroduce any form of reliable support.
Incredibly, despite all that we have just described, your practice remains absolutely committed to provide the best service that it can.
However, if you’re not satisfied with the service you receive, look beyond the practice and instead hold those with the power to improve matters to account. Scottish Government needs to do more to directly support General Practice, the bedrock of the NHS. Please contact your MSP. Their contact details can be found at Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) | Scottish Parliament Website
Lothian LMC
hay fever
31st May

Hay Fever

With the better weather coming more people may find themselves affected by pollen. A study in 2020 showed that around 49% of people reported suffering with Hay fever symptoms in the UK. Hay fever is is often easily managed at home and there is a handy guide on NHS Inform to help you with this. In most cases you can easily get remedies from the pharmacy.

 

NHS Inform - Hay Fever

teach
21st May

New Lunchtime Closure

Please be aware of a new lunchtime closure on a daily basis from Monday 3rd June 2024 between 12:45 and 1:45pm. This is to allow for essential staff training and staff meetings. During this time, urgent cover will continue to be provided by the Practice. 

 

If you require urgent assistance during this time, please contact the practice on mobile number 07748 111 334If you have a life threatening emergency please call 999.

px
15th May

Repeat Prescription issues

We are aware of the issues with our online prescription request service at the moment. This has been reported to our IT team and they are working with the website provider to try and rectify this. We have a temporary fix in place however with any technology things can still fall through so we do apologise and we appreciate you bearing with us during this frustrating time. 

 

Alternatively you can request your prescription by handing in a written request to the Practice, Or most Pharmacies can request your prescription for you. 

 

public
3rd May

Public Holiday 6th of May

Please be aware that the Practice is closed on Monday 6th May for the public holiday. We will reopen on Tuesday 7th of May at 8am.
If you need medical attention or advice in the meantime please see below for more information.
 
 
request
30th Apr

Prescription Requests

It is important to remember to order your repeats prescriptions in plenty of time. If you are going on holiday or the surgery is closed please give adequate time to get your medication as we are getting more and more urgent requests.
 
We have been having some issues with our online ordering at the moment and we are working to fix this but you can also order your medication by handing in a slip to the Practice or asking the Pharmacy to order it for you.
diary
18th Apr

GP Consulting Pattern

In the Practice we have 9 GPs and 2 GP Specialist Trainees. We appreciate that patients have particular GPs that they like to see and it can sometimes be hard to get an appointment with them.
We have a table on our website that shows the GPs usual consulting days which we recommend checking if you are trying to book a same day appointment with a particular GP. It's important to know that this can change as some of our GPs lead tutorials, have coil clinics or may have other meetings.
 
Bowel
16th Apr

Bowel Cancer Awareness Month

This #BowelCancerAwarenessMonth, the one thing Bowel Cancer UKanceruk want you to do is test your knowledge about the disease.
As well as learning more about #bowelcancer you can also enter a prize draw to win a year’s supply of @Andrex toilet roll!
 
stress
12th Apr

Stress Awareness Month

The theme for Stress Awareness Month is Little By Little, A Little Becomes A Lot. This is the idea that small consistent actions can have a positive overall effect on our wellbeing. It can be very easy for stress to build up so by following some of these small actions below you may be able to tackle it before it becomes too much.
 
 
sleep
15th Mar

World Sleep Day

Sleep is so important in our daily lives as it plays such an important role in our mental and physical health. During sleep, our bodies work to support healthy brain functions and maintain our physical health. The way we sleep affects how we feel when we are awake.
We may all struggle with sleep from time to time so follow the link below for some tips on sleeping better.
 
quit
13th Mar

National No Smoking Day

Today is National No Smoking Day 2024. It is being highlighted all over Scotland the benefits when you stop smoking whether that be physical, mental or financial. Even if you have tried before you can get in contact with Quit Your Way Scotland either by You can contact Quit Your Way Scotland for free by phoning a Quit Your Way Scotland adviser on 0800 84 84 84 or chatting online with a Quit Your Way Scotland adviser via the link below.

 

Quit Your Way Scotland

Ovarian
11th Mar

Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

March is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month and we think it is important to know what to look out for.
 
Did you see cancer hiding there? Ovarian cancer can look pretty innocent if you don’t know what to look for. So if you’re suffering with any of these symptoms frequently, make sure you see your GP to rule out anything serious.
 
Check out the link below for more information or how you can raise awareness.
 
travel
6th Mar

Travel Vaccines

A lot of people are starting to plan their holidays and some may be jetting off to exotic places and you might need to have or update your travel vaccines.
 
We do not do any vaccines in the Practice so we recommend checking out the website below which can give you all the information about how to book an appointment for this, it also has some information about pricing. There are also some local pharmacies that offer travel vaccines.
 
You are often required to have proof of the vaccines you already have so do get in contact with the Practice and we can try to help with that.
 
 
arfid
1st Mar

Eating Disorder Awareness Week

It is Eating Disorder Awareness Week just now. This is an important time to highlight eating disorders as they may not always present the way you think they would.
This year there is a focus on ARFID, which is Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. More info can be found on the Beat Website below.
Or info about other eating disorders can be found on NHS Inform.
 
 
heart
14th Feb

STI Screening

STIs can be spread around every day but a dramatic rise is often seen around Valentines Day. 
It is important to stay safe and consider getting tested with new partners.
Find out more about STIs, how to test for them and how to prevent them on the Chalmers Sexual Health website below.
 
 
vaccine
8th Feb

Student Vaccines

We have had lots of queries in the Practice about students getting vaccines and there is a handy link on NHS Inform that gives you all of this information particularly about the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine (MMR) and Meningitis ACWY (MenACWY). The link is below.

 

Vaccines for Students

Physiotherapy Consultation
11th Jan

Advanced Physiotherapy Practitioners

In the Practice we have two Advanced Physiotherapy Practitioners (APPs). We have Mairead in all day Monday and Friday and Hayley who is in Tuesday am, Wednesday all day and Thursday am. You can book in to see them directly through Reception.

GP APPs can see patients (aged 16 years and over only) at the Practice for a range of musculoskeletal issues, such as sprains, strains, sports injuries, joint pain and stiffness, sore back/neck, arthritis and muscle, ligament, tendom or bone problems.

These appointments are 20 minutes long and are an alternative to seeing a GP for assessment and diagnosis as well as advice, support and exercise.

These appointments aren't for ongoing treatment, but they can refer patients on to physio and secondary care as well as for further investigations, including x-ray.

 

jan
5th Jan

Dry January

Every year more and more people are taking part in Dry January. Doing this has many benefits whether it is physical, mental or financial. 
You can follow the link below to find out more information on some of these benefits and some handy tips to stay on track. Alcohol Change UK
 
 
 
 
 
registration sign
20th Dec 2023

New Registration Process

Following feedback we are changing our new patient registration process from Tuesday 9th January 2024 at 11am.

Instead of telephone applications, there will be a simple online form to apply for a registration place.

Please note that spaces are limited, and the form will close once our weekly quota of applications has been submitted. If you are unable to submit your application, it means that our quota has been met for that week and we are unable to register you.

There is currently a shortfall of spaces at GP practices in this area. However, you will be eligible to apply to several practices according to your postal address and the catchment areas of local GP practices. You can visit the NHS Inform website to explore other practice options - www.nhsinform.scot/scotlands-service-directory/gp-practices

If you have tried and exhausted all options available to you and have had no success in securing a space at a GP practice, you can email the health board at nss.psdedinburgh@nhs.scot detailing where you have tried and when. They may be able to allocate you a GP practice.

Please note that we are not taking on any new patients for the two week holiday period.

welcome sign
8th Dec 2023

Welcome Dr Dickie

We welcome Dr Emma Dickie who has returned as a permanent member of our team. She is delighted to take over the care of Dr Judith Penny's patients now that she has retired.
 
Dr Dickie first started working at Bruntsfield Medical Practice in 2020, when she completed the final year of her GP training. We are proud to say she achieved the top mark in her Royal College of General Practice membership exams for South East of Scotland.
 
She has worked as a locum doctor here since.
flower
5th Dec 2023

Dr Penny Retirement

Last Thursday we said goodbye to one of our GP Partners Dr Judith Penny. Dr Penny had been in the surgery for many years and was loved by staff and patients alike so she will be sorely missed. We wish her all the very best and a long and happy retirement. 

Pancreatic Cancer
28th Nov 2023

Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month

November is #pancreaticcancerawarenessmonth and this year we want to highlight the symptoms of this as many people do not know them. Whilst these symptoms can be caused by a number of issues it always best to be aware of them. Follow the link below which gives a list of some of the symptoms and more advice. Pancreatic Cancer UK
 
book
17th Nov 2023

Reading is Caring

This week is #BookWeekScotland a week which celebrates books and reading across the country. 
We have decided to shine a spotlight on Reading is Caring, this is an initiative to support people with dementia and anyone who supports them. 
They run workshops and can tailor these exactly to your needs. Scottish Book Trust You can find out more through the video below or on their website.
 
 
 
 
Self Care Week
14th Nov 2023

Self Care Week

It is Self Care Week this week from the 13-19th of November. 
#SelfCareWeek is a time to celebrate health and wellbeing and focus on how to better look after ourselves and our families. How do you take care of your #MindBody?  
Find out more below.
 
 
flowers
10th Nov 2023

Dr Penny Retirement Notice

We are sad to announce that one of our partners Dr Judith Penny has decided to retire at the end of November 2023. She will be sorely missed in the surgery by both staff and patients. Follow the link below to read her letter to patients.

 

Letter to Patients

contraception
10th Nov 2023

Contraception - Barclay Medical Plus

We know at the Practice and at Chalmers Sexual Health Clinic it can sometimes be a long wait to get or change long acting contraception such as the implant or coil.
So there is a new service being offered by Barclay Medical Plus. It is a free NHS Service and they are currently operating in Edinburgh, Livingston and Glasgow.
They have a lot of information about the service on their website which is linked below.
 
Movember
8th Nov 2023

Movember

November marks another year of Movember! A time when men around the country unite to take on mental health, suicide, prostate cancer and testicular cancer.
So this year whether you are growing a moustache in solidarity or moving for mental health it is all for a great cause.
Follow the link below to find out more info on fundraising or about Movember. 
 
Feeling stressed
2nd Nov 2023

Stress Awareness Day

November 1st was Stress Awareness Day.
 
It's hard to find someone who hasn't suffered from stress at some point in their lives, and at a time when the feelings of being overwhelmed and burnt out are on the rise, it's important to be aware of the effects of stress and how to manage it.
 
Have a look at the link below from NHS Inform that includes several video from people sharing their experiences with stress and how they cope, as well as having details of organisations that can help.…