K McDonald - IT Manager

Karen is the IT Manager for Bruntsfield Medical Practice. She has worked for the practice since September 2005 and is the main creator and editor of the practice website.

Sep 302021

We successfully initiated the first stage of migrating our telephone system “to the cloud” yesterday morning.

We plan to fully implement the next stage of the migration of our telephone system when it goes live at 08:00 on Friday morning (1st October).

This will mean that we have the capacity to advise you where you are in the queue when you ring and be able to keep you informed as you wait.

This will be just the initial step in introducing the new system and we will continue to improve and develop how we how we use the system to communicate more effectively with our patients.

Please note that between 08:00 and 09:00 the telephone lines are dedicated to patients requiring an appointment or who have an urgent query. We encourage any other queries to wait until after 09:00. If requesting a result we ask that you wait until after 14:00.

We hope that the new system will ultimately be a much better patient experience than it is currently and that it will prove to be a much more positive experience for both patients and staff.

In the meantime, thank you for your patience as we endeavour to develop and improve the system further. We will keep you updated as the system is progresses.

Sep 292021

We are currently working on an update to our telephone system for the benefit of our patients .  It is hoped we will be starting the initial stages of the update today between 12:00 and 13:00. 

No disruption to the telephone service is expected, but in preparation we felt we should forewarn you that it is happening in the event any difficulties are encountered.  We would therefore value your continued patience as we try and improve the service we are providing.

We will of course update you further in due course. Thank you in the meantime for your patience.

Sep 282021



The way you receive your flu vaccination has changed this year. You will not be able to get your vaccination at the Practice.

Last year, the Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership delivered the flu vaccination programme, using a series of walk and drive through clinics around the city, with vital support from community pharmacies and a community nurse team who visited the housebound. A similar model will be used this year but people who are eligible will either be given an appointment or be asked to make an appointment via an online portal on NHS Inform.

Some people who are eligible for a flu jab are also eligible for a COVID vaccine booster. Where possible, people will be given both vaccines at one appointment, but some people may need to get the jabs at two separate appointments.

You will not get your Flu or COVID jabs at the practice. Please do not contact the surgery about your flu or COVID jab appointments.

Vaccination Information:

The winter vaccination programme has started. If you are eligible for a free flu vaccine, you will get a letter from NHS Scotland. This will either give you an appointment date and time at one of the flu vaccination clinics in Lothian, or instruct you to make an appointment using an online portal.

The larger sites will be arranging appointments from early October.  Local venues will be made available in October/November.

If you have received a letter with an appointment that you are unable to attend, you can rearrange your appointment online at www.nhsinform.scot/flu-vaccine/invitations-and-appointments/rearrange-your-flu-vaccine-appointment.  Alternatively you can call the Lothian helpline for assistance with rebooking on:

0300 790 6296 

If you are housebound, your jabs will be given to you by the community housebound team and they will be in touch to arrange this.

Eligibility for a Flu Vaccine:

These groups are eligible for the flu vaccine this year:

  • Adults aged 50 or over (or will be by 31 March 2022)
  • Pregnant women
  • People aged 6 months or over with an eligible health condition
  • Healthcare workers
  • NHS independent contractors including GP, dental and optometry practices, community pharmacists and laboratory staff (working on coronavirus testing) and support staff
  • Social care workers who deliver direct personal care
  • Unpaid and young carers
  • Nursery, primary and secondary school teachers and pupil facing support staff in both a Local Authority and Independent setting
  • Prisoner population
  • Prison officers and support staff who deliver direct front-facing detention services
  • Children aged 2–5 years and not yet in school (children must be aged 2 years or above on 1 September 2021 to be eligible)
  • Primary school children (primary 1 to primary 7)
  • Secondary school pupils (years 1 to 6)

Why you should get a flu vaccine

With COVID-19 around it’s more important than ever to get the flu vaccine. Flu is serious. Getting the vaccine will protect you, others and the NHS.

What should I do if I am aged 70 or older?

You will receive a letter from NHS Scotland with an appointment.

If you have received a letter with an appointment that you are unable to attend, you can rearrange your appointment online at www.nhsinform.scot/flu-vaccine/invitations-and-appointments/rearrange-your-flu-vaccine-appointment.  Alternatively you can call the Lothian helpline on 0300 790 6296 for assistance with re-booking.

What you should I do if I am:

  • aged 50-70
  • aged under 50 and in a clinical risk group
  • pregnant
  • a carer

You will receive a letter from NHS Scotland with instruction on how to make an appointment using an online portal. You can also call the Lothian helpline on 0300 790 6296 for assistance with making an appointment.

Where you can get a flu vaccine if you’re not eligible for a free one

You can pay for a flu vaccination at many community pharmacies. You can search for a community pharmacy near you via the NHS Inform directory: www.nhsinform.scot/scotlands-service-directory/pharmacies

Where you can find out more

You can find more information about the flu vaccine process in Scotland at nhsinform.scot/flu. You can also call 0300 790 6296.


Eligibility for a COVID Booster:

You may also be eligible for a COVID-19 booster jab this winter. If you are, you may be given both your flu and COVID jabs at the same appointment. However, this will not always be possible, and you may have to attend two separate appointments.

A COVID booster dose will be offered to:

  • those living in residential care homes for older adults
  • frontline health and social care workers
  • all adults aged 50 years or over
  • adults aged 16 to 49 years with underlying health
  • conditions that put them at higher risk of severe coronavirus
  • adult carers (aged 16 or over)
  • household contacts (aged 16 or over) of immunosuppressed individuals.

If you are eligible, you will either be sent an appointment letter, or be invited to make an appointment using an online portal. The booster dose can be offered any time at least 6 months after your second dose.

Where you can find out more

You can find out more about the COVID booster vaccinations online at www.nhsinform.scot/covid-19-vaccine/the-vaccines/coronavirus-covid-19-booster-vaccination

Sep 242021

Further to our previous news items on this topic, please be advised that Forbes Road will once again be closed to allow the roadworks started last month to be finished.

The roadworks will be carried by Edinburgh Council out over 10 days between Wed 29th September to Friday 8th October.

There will be no access for any cars on to the road during that time. Please plan any attendance you have to the Practice accordingly.

Sep 222021

The way you will get your flu vaccine this year has changed.

People aged 70 or over will now be sent a letter by the national booking system with details of an appointment at a vaccination centre.

Information about how to arrange your flu vaccination for all other eligible individuals will be available soon.

From now on, GP practices will not administer the Flu jab. Across Scotland, Health and Social Care Partnerships are taking on this role in line with the GP Contract agreed by BMA Scotland on behalf of Scottish GPs. This change has been agreed to relieve pressure on GP practices. As a result your local practice will not offer any flu vaccinations or handle any booking queries for people in eligible groups.

Instead, the flu vaccine will be delivered by the four Health and Social Care Partnerships in Lothian – East Lothian; Midlothian; Edinburgh and West Lothian.

If you require further information or you need to rearrange your appointment, please contact the helpline on your appointment invitation or the local enquiry line on 0300 790 6296 (you will probably get a quicker response from the local enquiry number, as well as more local knowledge being available to help you) 

Please do not contact your GP. 

You can find out more on the websites of the Health and Social Care Partnerships or on NHS Inform

Sep 032021

The Edinburgh Community Physiotherapy Musculoskeletal Out-Patient Service has restarted their self-referral process, so patients can submit their own self-referral form if they feel they need to seek help with a musculoskeletal issue.

The service is available to those aged 16 years or over, to request ROUTINE out-patients physiotherapy. If you consider your problem to be urgent then you will need to be referred from your GP.

The service should be used to refer yourself for ONE problem only. They are not able to accept self-referrals for multiple, unrelated problems. For that, please speak to your GP.

To access the forms, and more information on the service, use the link, or scan the QR code, below:


It’s not currently possible to email the completed forms back to the service, so you need to be able to print them and post them to the address detailed in the form. If you don’t have access to a printer then you can pick up a copy of the referral form from the Practice reception.

For advice and self-care information that can help muscle and joint problems, visit www.nhsinform.scot.

Aug 132021

Further to our news post last week, the resurfacing work on Forbes Road was started on Monday 9th, but paused when they found a material which is a safety hazard for the workmen working on the road. 

Please note, this does not pose a potential threat to the residents or any one else.

The road will be left as is, with half the surface dug up and open, and so we ask that any patients driving to the Practice please take care. All cones etc will be removed with the exception of the signs warning of the “open road”. Notices advising of the work will be removed and put back up when it is known when the roadworks will commence, and we will advise further on the website.

Aug 132021

Due to a technical issue on our website, we received no messages generated by any of our contact forms between 00:47 and 18:43 on Thursday 12th August 2021.

This includes (among others): change of address information, appointment cancellations, chronic disease questionnaires, photos, and by far the most used form – repeat prescription requests.

We know that some patients couldn’t even get the contact forms to work during this time, but we also know that some information was submitted. We just have no way of knowing how much or from whom.

We are in touch with our web hosting company to see if any of these messages can be recovered, but this may not be possible.

Our forms are working again now, so if you did submit any information or requests yesterday between the times mentioned above, can you please submit it again now to ensure we have them.

We apologise profusely for any delays, disappointment or frustration this causes any of our patients.

Aug 102021

Unfortunately we are having network issues this morning which is limiting our ability to use our computer systems.

This has been reported to the Health Board, and we are trying to access backup systems at present, but please be patient with us if we are a little late with our telephone consultations, or in picking up the phone.

Thank you.

Aug 052021

Please be aware that Forbes Road (the road the Practice is on) will be closed all of next week (week beginning 9th August 2021) for surfacing work by Edinburgh Council.

There will be no access for any cars on to the road during that time. Please plan any attendance you have to the Practice accordingly.

Aug 032021

We have been having a few intermittent issues with our phones lines since Monday, and our provider needs to run some checks on our lines that will require our phones to be down for the duration.

This work has been scheduled for Thursday 5th August, between 1.30 and 2pm.

Phone lines should be back up from 2pm.

We apologise for this inconvenience, especially to anyone who has experienced dropped calls over the last couple of days. We hope this will be sorted soon.

Jun 172021

From 15th June there are two new conditions covered by the Pharmacy First Scheme.

Pharmacy First is an NHS Scotland service by which patients can attend their local community pharmacy for a variety of minor illnesses, without the need for an appointment, rather than attending their GP surgery.

You can read more about the service on NHSInform to learn what kind of conditions are currently covered.


  1. Management of Herpes Zoster (Shingles) infection in patients over 18 years of age by registered pharmacists within Community Pharmacies. Allows for the prescribing of Aciclovir where appropriate.
  2. Management of skin infection in patients over 18 years of age by registered pharmacists within Community Pharmacies. Allows for the prescribing of Flucloxacillin where appropriate.

Speak to your local community pharmacist to see if they offer the Pharmacy First service.

Jun 112021

As part of a programme to expand the multidisciplinary nature of General Practice within NHS Scotland, Bruntsfield is delighted to introduce our new Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP), Claire Hill.

Claire qualified in 1992 and has spent the majority of her career in NHS Lothian. She worked in A&E for 7 years, then as a District Nurse for 17 years before moving to the IMPACT (IMProved Anticipatory Care and Treatment) team. During the past 2 ½ years Claire has undertaken extensive training and recently qualified as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner .

ANPs are educated at Master’s level and are competent to work at advanced level as part of multidisciplinary teams. Their work is characterised by high-level autonomous decision-making, including assessing, diagnosing and treating (including prescribing for) patients with complex problems. ANPs have the authority to refer, admit and discharge within defined clinical areas.

Claire works from Monday-Thursday, and will be working closely with the existing GPs and nurses. Many patients who would previously have been offered an appointment with a GP may now be offered an appointment with Claire, and she will also be doing home visits. At the moment she is seeing patients for a variety of issues*, such as:

  • Any Respiratory Symptoms
  • Acute COPD/asthma exacerbations
  • Hayfever/antihistamine prescribing
  • Urinary symptoms in women
  • Catheter issues in men or women
  • Minor Injuries
  • Falls
  • Wound advice
  • Dementia
  • Confusion
  • Palliative Care questions
  • Painkiller prescribing/reviews/issues
  • Nursing Home reviews & questions
  • Frail Elderly/65+ acute issues

This list will keep growing over time as Claire develops in her role here at Bruntsfield.

We are very excited to have Claire as a member of our team and hope that our patients quickly reap the benefit of her expertise.

* Please be aware that Claire doesn’t see patients under the age of 16, or those who need help with specific mental health issues.