Jul 292020

NHS Pharmacy First Scotland is a consultation service designed to encourage the public to visit their community pharmacy as the first port of call for all minor illnesses and common clinical conditions. The current Minor Ailments Service will be discontinued and replaced by this new service, which will be delivered by every pharmacy in Scotland from Wednesday 29th July 2020.

People can access this service by attending at a community pharmacy of their choice, usually without an appointment. There is no registration required.

During the current pandemic, physical distancing restrictions will be in place. It may be more appropriate for people to telephone the pharmacy before attending.

As part of the service a Pharmacist can give you advice and treatment (if you need it) for minor illnesses such as the following:

AcneCystitis (in women)Nappy rash
Allergies & HayfeverDiarrhoeaPain
Athlete’s footDry skin or eczemaPeriod Pain
Blocked or runny noseHeadacheScabies
Cold soresHaemorrhoidsSore throat
ConjunctivitisHead liceThreadworms
ColicImpetigoThrush (inc Oral)
CoughMouth ulcersVerucas

Some age restrictions apply to some of these conditions and the potential treatment that a pharmacist may advise. Pharmacists, like GPs, can only provide certain medicines and products on the NHS. All of these are proven to be effective for treating your condition. If you want a specific medicine or product you may need to buy it. The pharmacist will give you advice on this.

If the pharmacist thinks it is better for you to see your GP, they may refer you directly or tell you to make an appointment.

There is a Patient Information Leaflet if you wish to read more about how to use the service, and you can visit NHSInform to search for your local community pharmacies.

Apr 072020

Friday 10th and Monday 13th April 2020 are the Easter public holidays, and under normal circumstances the Practice would be closed on both days.

The Health Board has asked Practices that are able to stay open if possible, and we have agreed.

The Practice will be open both days during our normal hours: 8am to 6pm.

Please be aware, however, that we will be running on half staff both days, so will only be able to provide a reduced service. If your query is not urgent please consider waiting until the holiday is over and we are back to full staff.

Mar 132020

For the most up-to-date advice about COVID please visit our static advice page on the outbreak.

It is essential that we do everything we can to minimise the risk of COVID exposure to patients and staff at the practice.

To do this the GPs need to consult by telephone as far as possible, unless it is essential that a patient has to be seen in the practice, for example if they require an examination or test.

The Patient Service Advisers will therefore ask you when you ring what you are calling about and the default appointment will be a telephone contact.

We may very soon have to move to telephone consultations only as it gets more difficult to remain in the containment of the virus.

The latest advice from the government as of today is as follows:

  • If you have symptoms of fever, cough or new shortness of breath STAY AT HOME and self care while you are unwell.
  • You should not contact your GP unless you feel significantly unwell.
  • Patients will not be routinely tested for coronavirus COVID 19 – and this can not be undertaken in GP practices.

This most up to date advice on self management is available of the Public Health England website:


The NHS Inform and Health Protection Scotland websites are still being updated to incorporate the latest national advice. Please refer to these websites and the practice regularly for updates – including changes to local services.

We would also appreciate patients arranging to pick up their prescription directly from one of the Pharmacies that pick up authorised prescriptions from the practice. This can be done by advising us of your preferred Pharmacy when ordering repeat medication. This is best done online to reduce the number of visitors to the practice – if you can not order online please indicate your preferred Pharmacy at the top right hand corner of your prescription counterfoil.

Thank you for helping us to help you.

Oct 252019

As many of you will have seen, especially with the Scottish Government press release on 22nd October, there are currently delays in being able to provide the intranasal flu vaccine for children this year.

The delay is happening UK wide and is happening at the manufacturing level.

Scotland’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Gregor Smith said:

“We have been exploring how to best use the available stock based on evidence and clinical advice, and I have written to Health Protection Scotland and NHS Board Coordinators asking them to prioritise children with eligible health conditions and the two to five-year-old programme, similar to other parts of the UK.

“The school vaccination programme is currently continuing as normal. However, should there be the expected disruption to supply, it could lead to vaccinations in some primary schools being rescheduled.

“NHS Board areas are currently working to do that based on the projections we are receiving on the revised delivery schedule. Whilst this is unfortunate, it is completely outwith our control and we would continue to urge eligible people to be vaccinated as we know this is the best way to protect against the flu.

“This does not impact the adult flu programme.”

All General Practices have been directed to prioritise the small supply of intranasal vaccine that has so far been delivered to those children with eligible health conditions, such as respiratory disease, heart disease, diabetes, etc. We are attempting to contact those families at the moment.

At present we don’t know when the next supply of vaccine will be made available to us, but provided there are no more problems current projections indicate it could be sometime mid-late November.

We understand and share the frustration of all families registered with us at this situation and ask for your patience and understanding when we have to disappoint those trying to phone to book an appointment for their child to be vaccinated. Our Patient Services team have been given strict guidelines they have to follow with who they are allowed to book in. These guidelines have been passed down from the Scottish Government and NHS Scotland, and approved by the clinical team here at the Practice.

At the moment we ask families with children WITHOUT eligible health conditions NOT to phone in asking if appointments are available, but instead to keep an eye on this website. As soon as we get a larger supply of the intranasal vaccine, and we have appointments available to book, we will post a news article to let families know.

Thank you again for your understanding during this frustrating situation.

Aug 142019

NHS Lothian has put together a poster of information that may be useful to visitors to Edinburgh, here for the Festival, during August 2019.

If you need to see a GP, need medication advice, or have suffered a minor injury, there is information here on who to contact, or websites to visit.

Click the thumbnail below to see the poster full size.

There is also a three-page leaflet available that includes some more detailed information on access to healthcare in Edinburgh during the Festival.

Click HERE to open the leaflet.

Jan 092019

From the first week of February 2019, we will be doing away with the longstanding 10.40-11am ‘Speaking Time’.

This was the time that was traditionally set aside where patients could phone the Practice and speak to one of the GPs about an issue that didn’t necessarily need a face-to-face consultation.

More and more this service has not met the needs of our patients, with an increasing volume of calls but a limited availability of GPs.

To replace this old service we are offering daily telephone consultations slots with each of the GPs who are in that day.

These slots will be available to book by calling the Practice between 9am and 10.30am each morning.

You will be given a 30 to 45 minute window by the Patient Services Adviser, during which you should make sure you are available by your phone for the GP to call you.

If you don’t answer the call, for whatever reason, this will be considered a ‘missed appointment’ and you will need to call the Practice back to re-schedule a new telephone appointment for another day/time.

The telephone consultations are expected to last around 5 minutes, and are to be used to discuss ongoing issues such as test results feedback, reviewing medication or updating on the progress of existing treatment.

These appointments are NOT intended for discussion of new or emerging ailments, or anything where the GP is likely to have to examine you. For these you should make a normal face-to-face appointment.

We hope this new service will better meet the needs of our patients, but as with any service change we implement we will be monitoring how effective it is and will keep our patients informed of any further changes.

Oct 312018


We are doing some data collection on the concept and practice of ‘signposting’ at the moment and we would be grateful if you could take the time to complete the questionnaire below, giving as much detail as you can where appropriate. It should only take a couple of minutes but will help guide our future procedures on this matter.

If you have already completed the questionnaire on paper while at the Practice you don’t need to fill it in again.

Dec 012017

Thank you to everyone who attended our big flu blitz clinics for making them run as smoothly as possible, and to everyone who has since attended one of our smaller nurse-led sessions.

Since the flu vaccination season started, the Practice has managed to administer over 2000 vaccinations to eligible patients, which is a huge undertaking and a great accomplishment.

We only have a very small number of nurse-led flu vaccination clinic appointments left available this year, so if you’re eligible phone the Practice today to guarantee your slot.

Get the jab and have a merry flu-free Christmas and New Year.

>> Click here to access eligibiity details <<

Nov 272017


At the very beginning of the year, we asked our patients who had undergone a blood test at the Practice over the previous 3 months if they could complete a survey asking their opinion on the handling of test results by the Practice.

We got a subdued response at the time, and because we are interested in our patient’s opinions on this topic we have decided to run the same survey again.

We did get some very interesting responses last time from patients with ideas for the way technology could improve the process, so we have added one extra question to the bottom of the survey to gauge how popular that kind of solution would be.

If you completed the survey the last time you are welcome to fill it in again, but we are most interested in hearing from those who are completing it for the first time.

Please click the link below to access the survey – it should take no more that 5-10 minutes to complete and is completely anonymous:

>> Making Results Handling Safer <<

Many thanks for your time.

Jun 262017

Sumer 2017 Newsletter The summer 2017 issue of the Bruntsfield Medical Practice newsletter is now available to read online.

In this issue we update parents on the current status regarding pre-school booster vaccinations being done in the Practice. We also remind you about the NHS Scotland resource ‘Know Who To Turn To’ which helps you figure out the best service to use when you need to access the healthcare sector. And don’t forget to wish Dr MacSorley some congratulations on his new role within the Practice.

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.

Mar 012017

NHSScotland is improving the way it uses information from GP patient records.

SPIRE is a service that will allow small amounts of information from GP practice records to be used to help doctors’ surgeries, NHSScotland and the Scottish Government to improve care and plan services, and to help researchers to learn more from patient information held at GP practices.

A new campaign is underway to inform patients across Scotland of the benefits of the service, and the confidential and secure way in which GP patient records will be used to help plan and improve health care services.

The main points the information campaign hope to get across to the public are:

  • SPIRE is a new service that will be used to help NHSScotland and the Scottish Government plan for Scotland’s health and care needs.
  • The gathering of this data will help NHSScotland plan and make the right decisions for patients.
  • To protect patient confidentiality, details will be encrypted before they are sent, so people can be sure their information is secure at all times.
  • No reports that are produced to inform health and care planning will contain any patient identifiable data.
  • If patients are happy for NHSScotland to use information from their GP records, they don’t need to do anything.
  • If patients do not wish their data to be used in this way, they will need to contact their GP practice to opt-out.
  • For further information, visit spire.scot or call NHS Inform on 0800 22 44 88 from 7th March 2017.

No data will be extracted from GP Surgeries until May at the earliest. This allows plenty of time for patients to inform themselves on the service and make a decision on whether they would like to opt-out.

If you feel that opting out is the right decision for you then please complete the SPIRE opt-out form, available on their website, or ask for the form at our reception desk.

If you are one of our patients who has previously requested that your medical data never be anonymously shared with similar services, please be aware that you will also be excluded from this service by default, so you don’t need to take any further action. If you would like to change your mind and opt back in to SPIRE, or any other similar service, you can do so at any time. Just contact the Practice to let us know.

Dec 152016


This holiday season, Bruntsfield Medical Practice will be closed all day on the following dates:

Monday 26th December to Tuesday 27th December
Monday 2nd January to Tuesday 3rd January

We are open as normal all other week days around Christmas and New Year.

During Practice closures, if you need medical assistance or advice you can call NHS24 on 111. In an emergency, as always, call 999.


For all our patients on repeat medication, please remember to check how much you have, and if you will run our around the holiday period, please submit your repeat request in plenty of time for us to action.

There is a table explaining the notice period on this page of our website. Be aware, that the notice period only counts WORKING DAYS, so we will not be processing any repeat prescription during days when we are closed.


NHSScotland have launched a campaign this month urging people to look after their health this winter with a few simple steps that can help to avoid illness and take the pressure off busy NHSScotland services over the festive holidays.

The ‘Be Healthwise’ campaign is fronted by Dr Owl and advises people that stocking up on over the counter medicines, checking any repeat prescriptions and ordering only what is needed to cover the holidays can help to avoid or deal with the most common winter ailments. It’s also a good idea to know GP surgery and local pharmacy opening hours over the festive break.

Dr Owl will be delivering his messages across radio, television and newspapers, as well as Facebook and twitter (@NHS24 #healthwise) throughout December.

You can access more information on the campaign at the winter health zone at www.nhsinform.scot.

Apr 192016

The Practice sent out a mass text on Thu/Fri last week announcing the start of our text messaging service yesterday, Monday 18th April.

Unfortunately we are having technical difficulties with the connection between the texting software and our appointments software meaning that appointment confirmations and reminders aren’t going out as we’d hoped.

The software companies are looking into the problem, but at the moment we have no timescale for how long until everything is fixed.

Hopefully it won’t be long, but we will update the website as soon as we know more.