Sep 052017
 

The Practice is starting our 2017/18 Seasonal Flu Vaccination Programme from Monday 2nd October, 2017.

Appointments are available to book NOW so please call us on 0131 228 6081, or come into the Practice as soon as possible, to secure your appointment.

To start us off we have set up a couple of special flu clinics in October and November. This is to accommodate the ever-increasing number of eligible patients, and like last year, we’re calling it our:

Big Bruntsfield Flu Blitz!

These clinics will be held on:

Saturday 7th October, 9am to 1pm

Thursday 2nd November, 2pm to 5.30pm



These clinics will be very busy. Appointments must be booked in advance and are strictly for flu and pneumococcal vaccines only. Eligible children will also be able to attend these clinics.

Please note, during the Saturday flu clinic times the practice will be closed to everyone but those with booked appointments, and any emergencies will be managed through NHS24 on telephone number 111.

Our usual flu clinics will also run throughout October and November, led by our Practice Nurses, in normal surgery hours. These appointments are also restricted to 5 minutes and for flu and pneumococcal vaccination only. If you need to address any other health matters please make a separate appointment.

ELIGIBILITY

The following groups of patients are eligible to receive the flu vaccination from the Practice:

  • Everyone who will be aged 65 or over by 31st March, 2018
  • All children aged 2 to 5 years old on 1st September 2017 (children in this age range already attending school will be vaccinated at school)
  • Anyone aged 6 months and over with the following conditions:
    • Asthma (you must require regular use of a steroid inhaler or tablets for control, or have had an emergency admission to hospital because of your asthma in the last year)
    • Other chronic respiratory disease (such as COPD, emphysema, chronic bronchitis or cystic fibrosis)
    • Chronic heart disease
    • Severe kidney or liver disease
    • Chronic neurological disease (e.g. Stroke/TIA, MS)
    • Diabetes
    • Lowered immunity due to disease or treatment
    • Asplenia or dysfunction of the spleen (including sickle-cell anaemia & coeliac disease)
  • Adults with a body mass index >40 kg/m2
  • Women in any stage of pregnancy
  • Or if you are an unpaid carer, or a young carer, for someone who could not manage without your help if you became ill

If you are unsure about your eligibility, please discuss it with a GP or nurse. Speaking time is between 10.40-11.00 am every weekday.

EGG ALLERGY

The flu vaccine is cultured in egg protein. For eligible patients who have a severe egg allergy, the Practice will have a small supply of a suitable alternative vaccine. We plan to contact these patients ahead of time to gauge demand and organise a specific clinic. If you are eligible for the flu vaccination, and have an egg allergy, please make sure you inform the Practice.

NASAL SPRAY

All 2 to 5 year olds, as well as those aged 6 to 17 years old in one of the risk groups above, will be getting the flu vaccination in the form of a nasal spray rather than an injection. The spray is done once into each nostril, and is quick and painless.

If your child is aged 9 years or under, in an at risk group, and has never been vaccinated for flu before, they will need the vaccine repeated 4 weeks later to ensure adequate protection. Your Practice Nurse should make you aware during the initial vaccination appointment if this is the case for your child.

Be aware that this form of the vaccine is not recommended for those with severe immunodeficiency (or for someone who lives in the same household as someone with a severe immunodeficiency), or for anyone with an egg allergy. If you’re unsure if you or your child fit into these categories, please speak to your usual GP before booking your appointment.

For the small proportion of patients for whom the nasal spray isn’t appropriate, they will be offered the injectable flu vaccination.

2 TO 5 YEAR OLDS

We will be holding children’s flu clinics again this year, specifically for the 2 to 5 year olds (not yet at school). Primary school children will receive the vaccine at school with parental consent. Eligible children can also attend the special flu clinics details above.

If you and your child are both eligible to receive the flu vaccination, and you intend to book into one of the big clinics to be vaccinated at the same time, can you please make sure to mention that to the receptionist at the time of booking to ensure you are booked in with the same clinician in consecutive appointments.

PNEUMOCOCCAL

Patients aged 65 and over, or in a risk group, who have not yet had a pneumococcal vaccination, will also be offered this vaccine during their flu clinic appointment. If you know you are due to get the pneumococcal vaccination let the receptionist know when booking your appointment so they can make a note of it. This allows the Doctor or Nurse to be as organised as possible during the clinic. This is also available at the special flu clinics.

For most adults the pneumococcal vaccination is a one-off dose that should last a lifetime, so does not need to be administered annually. For a few patients though, it is recommended that they receive the pneumococcal vaccination every 5 years. These include patients over the age of 16 with:

  • Chronic kidney disease (incl. CKD 4-5)
  • Asplenia or dysfunction of the spleen (incl. sickle-cell anaemia & coeliac disease)
  • Immunosuppression

If you think fall into one of these categories, speak to your Nurse or usual GP.

SHINGLES

The shingles vaccination programme is continuing for patients aged 70 on 1st September 2017 (date of birth between 02/09/1946 – 01/09/1947).

There is a catch-up programme which is also continuing for other patients in their 70s, as detailed below:

  • Patients aged 71 on 1st September 2017 (date of birth between 02/09/1945 and 01/09/1946)
  • Patients aged 72 on 1st September 2017 (date of birth between 02/09/1944 and 01/09/1945)
  • Patients aged 73 on 1st September 2017 (date of birth between 02/09/1943 and 01/09/1944)
  • Patients aged 74 on 1st September 2017 (date of birth between 02/09/1942 and 01/09/1943)
  • Patients aged 76 on 1st September 2017 (date of birth between 02/09/1940 and 01/09/1941)
  • Patients aged 77 on 1st September 2017 (date of birth between 02/09/1939 and 01/09/1940)
  • Patients aged 78 on 1st September 2017 (date of birth between 02/09/1938 and 01/09/1939)
  • Patients aged 79 on 1st September 2017 (date of birth between 02/09/1937 and 01/09/1938)

Unfortunately, if you turn 70 some time in the next year, but AFTER 1st September 2017 you will NOT be eligible to receive the shingles vaccine until next year’s programme.

Those aged 75 as at 1st September 2017 are the last to be included in the catch-up programme, but should be eligible from 1st September 2018.

If you’re eligible to receive the shingles vaccination this year it can also be done at the same time as your flu jab. Please note however a longer appointment will be required, so let the receptionist know. Also the Shingles vaccines will NOT be available at the special flu clinics.

INVITATIONS

The Lothian Health board will be sending out invitations to patients aged 65 years and over towards the end of September to remind them about making an appointment for their flu vaccination.

Letters from Public Health will be going out to families of the children aged 2 to 5 years old not yet at school informing them of their eligibility and encouraging them to make an appointment.

For all other at risk groups – neither the Health Board nor the Practice routinely invite patients to attend for the flu vaccination. If you’re in one of the groups mentioned above, don’t wait to be invited – contact the practice today to make your appointment!

NON-ELIGIBLE PATIENTS

Unfortunately we are only able to vaccinate members of the above groups. We are therefore not able to vaccinate individuals who fail to meet these criteria – even if the NHS has vaccinated them in the past.

We appreciate that many individuals who are not eligible for NHS vaccination wish to protect themselves against influenza. While we are unable to provide this service ourselves there are a number of private health providers who have secured supplies of the influenza vaccine. Local examples include:

The Edinburgh Clinic 40 Colinton Road 0131 447 2340
Lloyds Pharmacy 129 Bruntsfield Place 0131 228 3725
Boots Pharmacy 46-48 Shandwick Place 0131 225 6757
28-30 Newington Road 0131 667 3008
101-103 Princess Street 0131 225 8331
Craigleith Retail Park 0131 332 6114
Ocean Terminal 0131 554 6834
Fort Retail Park 0131 669 4428
Gyle Centre 0131 317 1288
Paton & Finlay 177 Bruntsfield Place 0131 229 2110

 

Further information and Leaflets on the Flu or Pneumococcal vaccinations can be found at the Immunisation Scotland website by clicking the links below:

http://www.immunisationscotland.org.uk/vaccines-and-diseases/seasonalflu/index.aspx

http://www.immunisationscotland.org.uk/vaccines-and-diseases/seasonalflu/infoforhealthconditions.aspx

http://www.immunisationscotland.org.uk/vaccines-and-diseases/seasonalflu/childflu.aspx

http://www.immunisationscotland.org.uk/vaccines-and-diseases/seasonalflu/pregnantwomen.aspx

http://www.immunisationscotland.org.uk/vaccines-and-diseases/pneumococcal.aspx

http://www.immunisationscotland.org.uk/vaccines-and-diseases/shingles.aspx

If you have any queries in the meantime please contact your usual GP between 10.40 and 11.00 am on one of the days they normally consult.

Mar 302017
 

Due to the increasing volume of prescriptions that the practice handles we can no longer guarantee to turn prescription requests around within a working day – it will now take two working days which is the NHS Scotland target for general practice.

The same turnaround time applies to hospital recommendations and hospital doctors are aware of this timeframe. Should the hospitals wish a prescription to be started immediately after an appointment the NHS Lothian policy is that they will arrange for this to happen at the time of your appointment through the hospital pharmacy.

The practice has also been aware of experiencing an increasing volume of requests from patients for routine medication prescriptions to be turned round within a matter of hours. Only very rarely will missing a day or two of medication have any impact on someone’s health. Where this is not the case the practice will no longer be expediting these requests.

The reason for this is that an adequate window of time is essential for your usual GP to make sure that any prescriptions which are not authorised on the system are handled in a safe and efficient manner. This has always been important – it is becoming even more important and time-consuming as we now have more medications to treat more conditions. This results in:

  • More potentially dangerous drug interactions and more opportunity for a medication to interact with an individual’s other health problems. Repeated studies have found that between 5-10% of hospital admissions are related to medication problems, and that the majority of these are preventable.

  • More demands on scarce NHS resources. Medication costs in Scotland are constantly increasing. At present the annual cost is just under £1.6 billion, which is approximately 13% of the total NHS Scotland budget. Sometimes the costs of nearly identical drugs can vary by a factor of 100. It is therefore essential that as a practice we prescribe efficiently as well as safely and effectively.

Please remember that pharmacies within the UK can normally sort out a short-term supply of medication in the event of you realising you have run out at the weekend or while travelling in the UK. With the occasional exception there is normally no need to have an emergency appointment with a GP if it is a medication that is been used on an ongoing basis.

Oct 032016
 

Stoptober is a public health campaign, spearheaded by NHS England, to help smokers in their attempts to quit. It runs the length of October and aims to help motivate you by providing support during your attempt to quit smoking. They’ve made the process easier than ever before by chunking it down to 28 days.

They have produced an app that you can download for iPhone or Android. It gives you daily updates and encouragement during your attempts to quit.

They also have a Facebook group that you can join to get more advice and connect with others who are trying to quit.

Just search online for “Stoptober” to find a resource to help you quit.

Why should you quit?

If you smoke, giving up is probably the greatest single step you can take to improve your health.

The risks of continuing to smoke are well known, and you can read more about them on the nhsinform pages on quitting smoking.

Knowing the risks isn’t the issue though, it’s actually being able to quit. Around 70% of smokers say they want to stop smoking, but most believe they are unable to.

We already have a page on our website that mentions many of the benefits to your health and lifestyle if you’re able to quit smoking, and stay quit. There is also more detailed information on the benefits to your health if you quit on the nhsinform site linked above.

What most people really need though is support to help them to quit.

What support is available within Lothian?

smokefreeLothian
The smokefreeLothian Service runs throughout Lothian. Their specially trained stop smoking advisors can offer support and advice tailored to you. We know it can be difficult to stop smoking but you can do it and they are there to help. In fact you are 4 times more likely to stop with help!

You can read more about the service on the NHSLothian website.

You can call the South Edinburgh office for smokefreeLothian on 0131 537 7154, or you can text/call 07964 247 482.

You can also email them at stopsmoking.service@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk

The service promises: No pressure, no lectures, just support!

Pharmacy Scheme
Pharmacies across Lothian offer up to 12-weeks of one-to-one support. These personal sessions double your chances of success. They can also prescribe nicotine replacement therapy to support you in your quit attempt. To find a pharmacy near you then please visit the NHS24 website and search by your postcode.

Shared Care
For people who attend the pharmacy scheme but would also like support from the stop smoking service, you are welcome to attend your local stop smoking session. This will provide you with the opportunity to meet other people who are trying to stop smoking and can be accessed for as long as you like.

Self-help
The self-help guide, ‘Your Path to a Smokefree Life’ is a very useful aid to help you succeed in stopping smoking.

You can access the guide below, or by calling the smokefreeLothian Service and asking for the guide to be sent to you.

Your Guide to a Smokefree Life

Smokeline
Smokeline is Scotland’s confidential free stop smoking hotline which is available 8am-10pm seven days a week on 0800 84 84 84. Their trained advisors can give you advice and support on stopping smoking. They can also tell you about services available in your local area.

CanStopSmoking
This NHS Sctland website provides helpful information and practice advice about stopping. To find out more visit www.canstopsmoking.com

How can we help?

Remember you can always make an appointment to speak to your usual GP or one of our Practice Nurses if you want more information on the support options available to help you quit smoking.

Mar 112016
 

The breast screening programme in Scotland invites all women between the age of 50 and 70 years old for breast screening approximately every 3 years.

When you get your appointment depends on which practice you are registered with, and the eligible women registered at Bruntsfield are being invited for screening at Ardmillan House on Springwell Terrace during March and April 2016.

Patients aged over 70 will not receive an invitation as standard, but you are still welcome to attend every 3 years and can make an appointment by ringing the centre on 0131 537 7400.

Information About Breast Cancer

Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting woman in the UK. In Scotland 1 in 9 woman are diagnosed with it, with around 1000 deaths in Scotland each year.

Breast Screening

Breast cancer screening involves an X-ray examination called a mammogram, which tries to detect cancer before it causes symptoms or findings on examination. The earlier a cancer is diagnosed the easier it is to treat.

In 2013, during the last screening round, 12 patients from Bruntsfield Medical Practice, out of 1,009 women screened, were diagnosed with breast cancer as a result of the screening. Overall, breast screening saves around 130 lives every year in Scotland.

Once the invitations have all gone out, if you missed or didn’t receive your appointment, and you are eligible, you can telephone the Screening Centre at Ardmillan House on 0131 537 7400 to get an appointment.

If you are worried about a breast symptom, you must see your GP who will arrange assessment, if appropriate, at the Breast Clinic at the Western General Hospital rather than the screening unit at Ardmillan House. If you have been seen in the past year in the breast clinic, the minimum interval before repeating the mammogram is 6 months.

Thanks, in part, to the breast cancer screening programme, the prognosis for patients diagnosed with breast cancer is improving. 85% of patients will live for at least 5 years and 75% of patients will live for at least 10 years.

Screening Risks

For every 200 woman who attend breast screening every 3 years from 50-70 years old, 15 are diagnosed with breast cancer. 3 of these patient’s cancers would not have caused problems and receive “over treatment”. But the remaining 12 patients receive life saving early treatment.

Mammograms can very rarely cause a cancer on account of the radiation associated with the scan. Also on occasion they can miss a cancer. Equally tumours can develop in the time between screening appointments, so that it is always important to be vigilant and breast aware.

Despite these points, cancer researchers still believe the benefits outweigh the risks in breast screening.

Breast Aware

Woman of all ages should be breast aware and regularly check their breasts for changes. Although lumps in your breast or armpit may be harmless, you should get them checked by the GP. Other symptoms to look out for are:

  • A lump, area of thickened tissue or bumps in either breast.
  • A change in the size or shape of one or both breasts.
  • A lump or swelling in either of your armpits.
  • Skin that appears like orange peel.
  • Crusting on or around the nipple.
  • A leaking nipple which may or may not be streaked with blood.
  • Dimples or skin that’s become drawn in.
  • A nipple that’s become turned in.

Family history

Less than 10% of breast cancer cases are due to inheriting a faulty gene. As breast cancer is so common, it is not uncommon to have one or two extended family members with breast cancer. For most, having a relative with breast cancer doesn’t increase their risk of breast cancer. If you are concerned about your family history of breast and ovarian cancer please see your GP, as it is sometimes appropriate to attend the Genetics Clinic at the Western General Hospital to assess your individual risk further.

Breast Screening “Helping you decide” Booklet from NHS inform website:

More information can also be found from the following websites:

www.nhsinform.co.uk
www.getcheckedearly.org
www.breakthrough.org.uk
www.breastcancercare.org.uk
www.cancerresearchuk.org

Oct 202015
 

There have been a number of enquiries to the Practice recently by patients who have been unable to access the website, usually to request repeat prescriptions.

When trying to access the website the following error message would be obtained, rather than the website itself.

This is due to an incompatibility between the security certificate the website uses (to allow users of the website a secure connection to submit personal/medical information to the Practice) and older versions of the web browsing software that some people might still be using. The majority of problems have been reported by people using older versions of a browser called Internet Explorer, which is installed as standard on Windows based PCs.

As a first step to help with this issue, we have stopped applying the security certificate to the website as a whole, instead choosing to selectively apply it to only those pages with a web form that allows users to submit information to us.

This means, that even with an older browser, the basic website is still accessible to all.

Where this doesn’t help is on those pages with a web form, such as the one that allows user to request their repeat prescriptions, where the same error will be displayed if accessed via an older browser.

If you are someone who has experienced a problem like this when accessing the Practice website, and you still want to use the web form functionality, the next step in fixing it is for you to update your web browsing software to a compatible version, or install an alternate web browser.

Our current security certificate is compatible with the following versions and onwards of the five most popular web browsers:

Browser Earliest compatible version Operating system compatibility
Internet Explorer Version 11 Windows 7 onwards
Google Chrome Version 30 Windows XP onwards
Mozilla Firefox Version 27 Windows XP onwards
Opera Version 17 Windows XP onwards
Apple Safari Version 7 OS X 10.9 onwards

For more complete information on browser compatibility check your current browser against TLS protocol 1.2 in the table shown within the following link: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transport_Layer_Security

If you decide you want to upgrade your browser, or install a new one, the following links will help you with that:

Browser Upgrade Install
Internet Explorer Upgrade instructions for IE Downlink link for IE
Google Chrome Upgrade instructions for Chrome Download link for Chrome
Mozilla Firefox Upgrade instructions for Firefox Download link for Firefox
Opera Upgrade instructions for Opera Download link for Opera
Apple Safari Upgrade instructions for Safari Download link for Safari

We apologise to everyone who has experienced difficulty accessing the Practice website, and hope that you understand the need to maintain a secure environment when dealing with medical data.

Sep 162015
 

The Practice is starting our 2015/16 Seasonal Flu Vaccination Programme on Wednesday 30th September, 2015.

Appointments are available to book NOW, so please call us on 0131 228 6081, or come into the Practice as soon as possible, to secure your appointment.

So far we have set up a couple of special flu clinics in addition to the usual daytime flu clinics in October and November. This is to accommodate the ever-increasing number of eligible patients.

SPECIAL FLU CLINICS

These will be held on:

Wednesday 7th October 1.30pm – 5.00pm
Saturday 7th November 9.00am – 12.30pm

These clinics will be very busy. Appointments must be booked in advance and are restricted to 5 minutes, strictly for flu and pneumococcal vaccines only. Eligible children will also be able to attend these clinics.

Please note, during the Saturday flu clinic times the practice will be closed to everyone but those with booked appointments, and any emergencies will be managed through NHS24 on telephone number 111.

Our usual flu clinics will also run throughout October and November, led by our Practice Nurses, in normal surgery hours. These appointments are also restricted to 5 minutes and for flu and pneumococcal vaccination only. If you need to address any other health matters please make a separate appointment.

ELIGIBILITY

The following groups of patients are eligible to receive the flu vaccination from the Practice:

  • Everyone who will be aged 65 or over by 31st March, 2016
  • All children aged 2 to 5 years old on 1st September 2015 (children in this age range already attending school will be vaccinated at school)
  • Anyone aged 6 months and over with the following conditions:
    • Asthma (you must require regular use of a steroid inhaler or tablets for control, or have had an emergency admission to hospital because of your asthma in the last year)
    • Other chronic respiratory disease (such as COPD, emphysema, chronic bronchitis or cystic fibrosis)
    • Chronic heart disease
    • Severe kidney or liver disease
    • Chronic neurological disease (e.g. Stroke/TIA, MS)
    • Diabetes
    • Lowered immunity due to disease or treatment
    • Asplenia or dysfunction of the spleen (including sickle-cell anaemia & coeliac disease)
  • Adults with a body mass index >40 kg/m2
  • Women in any stage of pregnancy
  • Or if you are an unpaid carer, or a young carer, for someone who could not manage without your help if you became ill

If you are unsure about your eligibility, please discuss it with a GP or nurse. Speaking time is between 10.40-11.00 am every weekday.

EGG ALLERGY

The flu vaccine is cultured in egg protein. For eligible patients who have a severe egg allergy, the Practice will have a small supply of a suitable alternative vaccine. We plan to contact these patients ahead of time to gauge demand and organise a specific clinic. If you are eligible for the flu vaccination, and have an egg allergy, please make sure you inform the Practice.

NASAL SPRAY

All 2 to 5 year olds, as well as those aged 6 to 17 years old in one of the risk groups above, will be getting the flu vaccination in the form of a nasal spray rather than an injection. The spray is done once into each nostril, and is quick and painless.

If your child is aged 9 years or under, in an at risk group, and has never been vaccinated for flu before, they will need the vaccine repeated 4 weeks later to ensure adequate protection. Your Practice Nurse should make you aware during the initial vaccination appointment if this is the case for your child.

Be aware that this form of the vaccine is not recommended for those with severe immunodeficiency (or for someone who lives in the same household as someone with a severe immunodeficiency), or for anyone with an egg allergy. If you’re unsure if you or your child fit into these categories, please speak to your usual GP before booking your appointment.

For the small proportion of patients for whom the nasal spray isn’t appropriate, they will be offered the injectable flu vaccination.

2 TO 5 YEAR OLDS

We will be holding children’s flu clinics again this year, specifically for the 2 to 5 year olds (not yet at school). Primary school children will receive the vaccine at school with parental consent. Children can also attend the special flu clinics details above.

PNEUMOCOCCAL

Patients aged 65 and over, or in a risk group, who have not yet had a pneumococcal vaccination, will also be offered this vaccine during their flu clinic appointment. If you know you are due to get the pneumococcal vaccination let the receptionist know when booking your appointment so they can make a note of it. This allows the Nurse to be as organised as possible during the clinic. This is also available at the special flu clinics.

For most adults the pneumococcal vaccination is a one-off dose that should last a lifetime, so does not need to be administered annually. For a few patients though, it is recommended that they receive the pneumococcal vaccination every 5 years. These include patients over the age of 16 with:

  • Chronic kidney disease (incl CKD 4-5)
  • Asplenia or dysfunction of the spleen (incl sickle-cell anaemia & coeliac disease)
  • Immunosuppression

If you think fall into one of these categories, speak to your Nurse or usual GP.

SHINGLES

The shingles vaccination programme is being continued from the last two years, for patients aged 70 on 1st September 2015 (date of birth between 02/09/1944 – 01/09/1945). The catch-up programme is also continuing, as before for patients aged 78 on 1st September 2015 (date of birth between 02/09/1936 – 01/09/1937).

If you were eligible during a previous year’s programme, still under 80 years old, but didn’t receive the shingles vaccine during the year, you are eligible to receive it during this year’s programme as well:

  • Patients aged 71 on 1st September 2015 (date of birth between 02/09/1943 and 01/09/1944)
  • Patients aged 72 on 1st September 2015 (date of birth between 02/09/1942 and 01/09/1943)
  • Patients aged 79 on 1st September 2015 (date of birth between 02/09/1935 and 01/09/1936)

Unfortunately, if you turn 70 some time in the next year, but AFTER 1st September 2015 you will not be eligible to receive the shingles vaccine until next year’s programme.

If you’re eligible to receive the shingles vaccination this year it can also be done at the same time as your flu jab. Please note however a longer appointment will be required, so let the receptionist know. Also the Shingles vaccines will NOT be available at the special flu clinics.

INVITATIONS

The Lothian Health board will be sending out invitations to patients aged 65 years and over towards the end of September to remind them about making an appointment for their flu vaccination.

Letters from Public Health will be going out to families of the children aged 2 to 5 years old informing them of their eligibility and encouraging them to make an appointment.

For all other at risk groups – neither the Health Board nor the Practice routinely invite patients to attend for the flu vaccination. If you’re in one of the groups mentioned above, don’t wait to be invited – contact the practice today to make your appointment!

NON-ELIGIBLE PATIENTS

Unfortunately we are only able to vaccinate members of the above groups. We are therefore not able to vaccinate individuals who fail to meet these criteria – even if the NHS has vaccinated them in the past.

We appreciate that many individuals who are not eligible for NHS vaccination wish to protect themselves against influenza. While we are unable to provide this service ourselves there are a number of private health providers who have secured supplies of the influenza vaccine. Local examples include:

GP Plus 40 Colinton Road 0845 119 6049
Lloyds Pharmacy 129 Bruntsfield Place 0131 228 3725
Boots Pharmacy 46-48 Shandwick Place 0131 225 6757
101-103 Princess Street 0131 225 8331
Craigleith Retail Park 0131 332 6114
Gyle Centre 0131 317 1288
Fort Retail Park, New Craighall 0131 669 4428
Paton & Finlay 177 Bruntsfield Place 0131 229 2110

 

Further information and Leaflets on the Flu or Pneumococcal vaccinations can be found at the Immunisation Scotland website by clicking the links below:

http://www.immunisationscotland.org.uk/vaccines-and-diseases/seasonalflu/index.aspx

http://www.immunisationscotland.org.uk/vaccines-and-diseases/seasonalflu/infoforhealthconditions.aspx

http://www.immunisationscotland.org.uk/vaccines-and-diseases/seasonalflu/childflu.aspx

http://www.immunisationscotland.org.uk/vaccines-and-diseases/seasonalflu/pregnantwomen.aspx

http://www.immunisationscotland.org.uk/vaccines-and-diseases/pneumococcal.aspx

http://www.immunisationscotland.org.uk/vaccines-and-diseases/shingles.aspx

If you have any queries in the meantime please contact your usual GP between 10.40 and 11.00 am on one of the days they normally consult.

Aug 312014
 

The Practice is starting our 2014/15 Seasonal Flu Vaccination Programme on Wednesday 1st October, 2014.

Appointments are available to book NOW, so please call us on 228 6081, or come into the Practice as soon as possible, to secure your appointment.

This year we are running three special flu clinics ‘outside office hours’, in addition to the usual daytime flu clinics in October and November. This is to accommodate the ever-increasing number of eligible patients.

‘OUT OF HOURS’ FLU CLINICS

These will be held on:

Wednesday 8th October 2.30pm – 5.00pm*
Thursday 23rd October 6.00pm – 8.00pm
Saturday 1st November 9.00am – 1.00pm

These clinics will be very busy. Appointments must be booked in advance and are restricted to 5 minutes, strictly for flu and pneumococcal vaccines only. Eligible children will also be able to attend these clinics.

*Wednesday 8th October was due to be a training afternoon in which the practice normally closes. The practice will be open for pre-booked flu vaccinations and emergencies only on this afternoon. During the other special flu clinic times the practice will be closed to everyone but those with booked appointments, and any emergencies will be managed through NHS24 on telephone number 111.

Our usual flu clinics will also run throughout October and November, led by our Practice Nurses, in normal surgery hours. These appointments are also restricted to 5 minutes and for flu and pneumococcal vaccination only. If you need to address any other health matters please make a separate appointment.

ELIGIBILITY

The following groups of patients are eligible to receive the flu vaccination from the Practice:

  • Everyone who will be aged 65 or over by 31st March, 2015
  • All children aged 2 to 5 years old on 1st September 2014 (children in this age range already attending school will be vaccinated at school)
  • Anyone aged 6 months and over with the following conditions:
    • Asthma (you must require regular use of a steroid inhaler or tablets for control, or have had an emergency admission to hospital because of your asthma in the last year)
    • Other chronic respiratory disease (such as COPD, emphysema, chronic bronchitis or cystic fibrosis)
    • Chronic heart disease
    • Severe kidney or liver disease
    • Chronic neurological disease (e.g. Stroke/TIA, MS)
    • Diabetes
    • Lowered immunity due to disease or treatment
    • Asplenia or dysfunction of the spleen (including sickle-cell anaemia & coeliac disease)
  • Women in any stage of pregnancy
  • Or if you are an unpaid carer, or a young carer, for someone who could not manage without your help if you became ill

If you are unsure about your eligibility, please discuss it with a GP or nurse. Speaking time is between 10.40-11.00 am every weekday.

EGG ALLERGY

The flu vaccine is cultured in egg protein. For eligible patients who have a severe egg allergy, the Practice will have a small supply of a suitable alternative vaccine. We plan to contact these patients ahead of time to gauge demand and organise a specific clinic. If you are eligible for the flu vaccination, and have an egg allergy, please make sure you inform the Practice.

NASAL SPRAY

All 2 to 5 year olds, as well as those aged 6 to 17 years old in one of the risk groups above, will be getting the flu vaccination in the form of a nasal spray rather than an injection. The spray is done once into each nostril, and is quick and painless.

If your child is aged 9 years or under, in an at risk group, and has never been vaccinated for flu before, they will need the vaccine repeated 4 weeks later to ensure adequate protection. Your Practice Nurse should make you aware during the initial vaccination appointment if this is the case for your child.

Be aware that this form of the vaccine is not recommended for those with severe immunodeficiency (or for someone who lives in the same household as someone with a severe immunodeficiency), or for anyone with an egg allergy. If you’re unsure if you or your child fit into these categories, please speak to your usual GP before booking your appointment.

For the small proportion of patients for whom the nasal spray isn’t appropriate, they will be offered the injectable flu vaccination.

2 TO 5 YEAR OLDS

We will be holding children’s flu clinics again this year, specifically for the 2 to 5 year olds (not yet at school). Primary school children will receive the vaccine at school with parental consent. Children can also attend the out of hours flu clinics.

PNEUMOCOCCAL

Patients aged 65 and over, or in a risk group, who have not yet had a pneumococcal vaccination, will also be offered this vaccine during their flu clinic appointment. If you know you are due to get the pneumococcal vaccination let the receptionist know when booking your appointment so they can make a note of it. This allows the Nurse to be as organised as possible during the clinic. This is also available at the ‘Out of Hours’ Flu clinics.

For most adults the pneumococcal vaccination is a one-off dose that should last a lifetime, so does not need to be administered annually. For a few patients though, it is recommended that they receive the pneumococcal vaccination every 5 years. These include patients over the age of 16 with:

  • Chronic kidney disease (incl CKD 4-5)
  • Asplenia or dysfunction of the spleen (incl sickle-cell anaemia & coeliac disease)
  • Immunosuppression

If you think fall into one of these categories, speak to your Nurse or usual GP.

SHINGLES

The shingles vaccination programme is being continued from last year, this time for patients aged 70 as at 1st September 2014. The catch-up programme is also continuing, this time for patients aged 78 or 79 as at 1st September 2014.

If you were 70 years old as at 1st September 2013, but didn’t receive the shingles vaccine during last year’s programme, you are eligible to receive it during this year’s programme as well.

Unfortunately, if you turn 70 some time in the next year, but AFTER 1st September 2014 you will not be eligible to receive the shingles vaccine until next year’s programme.

If you’re eligible to receive the shingles vaccination this year it can also be done at the same time as your flu jab. Please note however a longer appointment will be required, so let the receptionist know. Also the Shingles vaccines will not be available at the Special ‘Out of Hours’ flu clinics.

INVITATIONS

The Lothian Health board will be sending out invitations to patients aged 65 years and over towards the end of September to remind them about making an appointment for their flu vaccination.

Letters from the Practice will be going out to families of the children aged 2 to 5 years old informing them of their eligibility and encouraging them to make an appointment.

For all other at risk groups – neither the Health Board nor the Practice routinely invite patients to attend for the flu vaccination. If you’re in one of the groups mentioned above, don’t wait to be invited – contact the practice today to make your appointment!

NON-ELIGIBLE PATIENTS

Unfortunately we are only able to vaccinate members of the above groups. We are therefore not able to vaccinate individuals who fail to meet these criteria – even if the NHS has vaccinated them in the past.

We appreciate that many individuals who are not eligible for NHS vaccination wish to protect themselves against influenza. While we are unable to provide this service ourselves there are a number of private health providers who have secured supplies of the influenza vaccine. Local examples include:

GP Plus 40 Colinton Road 0845 119 6049
Lloyds Pharmacy 129 Bruntsfield Place 0131 228 3725
Boots Pharmacy 46-48 Shandwick Place 0131 225 6757
101-103 Princess Street 0131 225 8331
Craigleith Retail Park 0131 332 6114
Gyle Centre 0131 317 1288
Fort Retail Park, New Craighall 0131 669 4428
Paton & Finlay 177 Bruntsfield Place 0131 229 2110

 

Further information and Leaflets on the Flu or Pneumococcal vaccinations can be found at the Immunisation Scotland website by clicking the links below:

http://www.immunisationscotland.org.uk/vaccines-and-diseases/seasonalflu/index.aspx

http://www.immunisationscotland.org.uk/vaccines-and-diseases/seasonalflu/infoforhealthconditions.aspx

http://www.immunisationscotland.org.uk/vaccines-and-diseases/seasonalflu/childflu.aspx

http://www.immunisationscotland.org.uk/vaccines-and-diseases/seasonalflu/pregnantwomen.aspx

http://www.immunisationscotland.org.uk/vaccines-and-diseases/pneumococcal.aspx

http://www.immunisationscotland.org.uk/vaccines-and-diseases/shingles.aspx

If you have any queries in the meantime please contact your usual GP between 10.40 and 11.00 am on one of the days they normally consult.

Jul 162014
 

GPs across the UK report there is not enough time to meet all the needs of their patients. Demand for appointments keeps rising. Older and vulnerable people with complex issues need to spend more time with their GP.

Pressures on the system are resulting in GPs retiring early and doctors are not choosing general practice as a career. Therefore it is likely that there will be fewer GPs to go around despite the increasing demand and the situation could get worse year-on-year. But patients need their GP now more than ever.

Your GP cares that this affects how they are able to look after you.

General Practice in Scotland:
  • In Scotland, more than 24 million patient consultations take place in general practice each year.
  • More than 12% of all patients visit their GP practice 10 or more times a year.
  • 40% of the population has at least one long term condition.
  • By 2031, the number of people aged over 75 is forecast to rise by 60%.
  • Almost two-thirds of GPs say their premises are not fit for purpose.
  • Scotland’s population is expected to rise by 10% by 2035, but GP numbers have increased by just 5% since 2006.

In order to deliver high quality comprehensive care to our patients, we need to protect the practice based healthcare team. GPs, nurses and other health professionals working as a team provide vital services to patients in the community. By working together we can secure GP surgeries the investment they desperately need to cope with the growing population and increasing number of services provided by practices, and offer patients the continuity of care they value.

To this end. the British Medical Association’s General Practitioners Committee have started the Your GP Cares Campaign. They call for long-term, sustainable investment in general practice now to:

  1. Attract, retain and expand the number of GPs
  2. Expand the number of practice staff
  3. Improve premises GP services are provided from

Over the coming months, they will be encouraging debate so that politicians and policy makers understand the urgent need for investment in GP services for today and tomorrow.

How can you take part:
  • Support the BMA – join the campaign at bma.org.uk/YourGPcares
  • Put pressure on your local politician – Find out how at bma.org.uk/YourGPcaresaction
  • Share your experiences – Tell them how problems in general practice affect you by emailing then at YourGPcares@bma.org.uk
  • Follow @The BMA on Twitter – Promote the campaign and discuss the issues using #YourGPcares
  • Sign the petition – the Royal College of General Practitioners has started a petition to demand the Scottish Government acts now to ensure practices have the resources they need. You can sign a hardcopy we have in the Practice, set up on the table in front of the reception desk, or you can sign online at the RCGP website.


Jul 042014
 

We regret that the Practice has found it necessary to declare that our patient list size is currently full and that registrations will now be restricted.

For some time we have been struggling to maintain an appropriate service to patients as a result of a steady increase in the numbers joining over the last two years. The act of restricting our list has not been taken lightly. We are taking this action in order to safeguard the quality of the service that we strive to provide for our patients. As a consequence, we intend to sustain a list size of 12,000 patients, and we will continue to register patients weekly at a rate proportionate to this objective.

We will closely monitor the situation as this new policy takes effect and will adapt the arrangements regarding new registrations as is appropriate. This may mean making further changes to the registration process/numbers at short notice. It is envisaged that the actual numbers being registered weekly will change regularly, dependent on the normal turnover of patients leaving for elsewhere.

If you are unable to register with the Practice, you can find an alternative practice by telephoning the NHS Lothian Primary Care Organisation (PCO) on 0131 537 8444. The Registration Department will be able to advise you of the practices you are eligible to join. Alternatively, you can visit the NHS website www.nhsinform.scot/national-service-directory and enter your postcode to see the practice options available.

We are sorry that it is necessary to implement this course of action and trust that you are able to understand the reasoning behind our decision.

CATEGORIES OF THOSE WHO MAY BE REGISTERED WITHOUT RESTRICTION

We will continue to register the following groups of patients without restriction:


1. Family members of those already registered, providing they reside at the same address. This includes elderly members of the family joining permanently.
2. New births of current patients
3. Patients who were previously registered and are returning to within the Practice boundary
4. Patients resident at Chamberlain Nursing Home
5. Patients allocated by the Primary Care Organisation (PCO).

TRs (Temporary Residents) and Immediately Necessary patients will be seen as normal. Temporary residents who are in the area for more that 3 months may however be required to register at another practice if our registration allocation for the week has been reached (see information above to assist with finding an alternative practice).

Jan 272014
 

In Scotland, lung cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer. In fact the lung cancer incidence rates in Scotland are among the highest in the world, reflecting the country’s fondness of cigarettes. It is more common than breast cancer in woman and bowel and prostate cancer added together in men. It is responsible for 40,000 deaths in the UK per year and 4,000 deaths in Scotland per year. It is the most common cancer death globally, responsible for 1 million deaths per year.

Like with all other cancers, treatment is improving thanks to ongoing research and survival rates are also reflecting this. The earlier a cancer is diagnosed, the easier it is to treat and the better your survival rate is. More people are surviving lung cancer, Statistics show that 1,300 patients more a year are surviving compared to 25 years ago.

Sir Alex Ferguson lost both his parents to lung cancer and is fronting a campaign this Winter to raise awareness of lung cancer: “Don’t get scared, get checked. Lung cancer isn’t what it used to be”.

The following symptoms are worth seeing your GP about if they persist for more than 3 weeks:

  • A cough that persists for more than 3 weeks
  • A chronic cough that gets worse or changes
  • Feeling breathless for no reason
  • A chest infection that doesn’t clear up
  • Coughing blood
  • Unexplained weight loss or lack of energy
  • Hoarse voice

Those most at risk are older patients, smokers or ex-smokers. But remember, non smokers can get lung cancer too.

Giving up smoking isn’t easy. But research shows you are four times more likely to become a non smoker if you combine a treatment to reduce cravings with support from an NHS support service. You can self refer to the local Smoking Cessation Clinic on 0131 537 7154. These support services provide specialist treatment for those wanting to stop and can help plan and prepare how to stop as well as support you after giving up.

Useful Links:

Detect Cancer Early Campaign:
www.getcheckedearly.org
www.nhsinform.co.uk

Roy Castle Foundation:
www.roycastle.org

British Lung Foundation:
www.blf.org.uk

Cancer Research UK:
www.cancerresearchuk.org/cancer-help/type/lung-cancer

Smokeline – 0800 84 84 84
www.canstopsmoking.com

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