Last updated: 10/11/2021
- COVID-19 AND ATTENDING THE PRACTICE
- COVID-19 VACCINATION
- COVID-19 VACCINATION AND BLOOD CLOTTING
- NHS SCOTLAND CORONAVIRUS / COVID-19 PATHWAY
- TEST AND PROTECT
- INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR RECOVERY AFTER COVID-19
- FACE COVERINGS
- COVID-19 AND YOUR WORK
COVID-19 AND ATTENDING THE PRACTICE
IF YOU ARE UNWELL, OR IF THE RESOURCES BELOW DO NOT ADDRESS YOUR QUESTIONS, PLEASE DO NOT ATTEND THE PRACTICE WITHOUT A PRE-ARRANGED APPOINTMENT.
WE HAVE A REDUCED CAPACITY TO SEE PATIENTS. THIS IS DUE TO SOCIAL DISTANCING REQUIREMENTS TO REDUCE THE RISK OF SPREADING INFECTIONS AND THE REQUIREMENTS TO WEAR PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT.
WE ARE INITIALLY SPEAKING TO ALL PATIENTS ON THE PHONE TO DETERMINE WHETHER THEY NEED TO BE SEEN OR CAN BE HELPED IN ANOTHER WAY.
For the vast majority of individuals a COVID infection is a mild, self limiting illness – and we know many calls about COVID may not need an appointment – so we will try and answer some common questions while you wait, and potentially save you an unnecessary delay.
If you have a new respiratory tract infection this winter with one or more of:
- a cough and/or
- a fever and/or
- loss of, or change in sense of smell or taste
we advise everyone to get a COVID PCR test. This is the most sensitive and accurate test to confirm if an infection is, or is not, COVID.
The portal to access information about the test, and to book it, is though NHSInform.scot:
If you have a COVID infection and require an isolation certificate for your employer this can not be generated by the practice, but there are links and instructions about how to get this, and other useful information on how to manage work and having to isolate, on the Citizen’s Advice website:
If you are not feeling worse than you would expect with a normal winter cough or flu we would encourage you to read the information available on NHSinform.scot about COVID before asking for an appointment with a doctor or nurse as most infections can be self managed. This website includes specific information about when you should be asking to speak to a doctor or nurse.
We would highlight that we would always want to speak to someone if they were:
- concerned and had previously been advised to shield;
- had been feeling feverish for more than a week;
- coughing up any blood;
- having difficulty breathing;
- experiencing chest pain;
- had clammy or mottled skin,
- were passing very little urine, or
- were excessively drowsy or newly confused.
If you were considering contacting the practice about non-coronavirus issues, please consider:
Please see the practice’s The Right Service at the Right Time page, though be aware that many of these services will also be changing their access arrangements.
For those of you who do contact the practice our Patient Services Advisors will take your details and check what your query is about. If you potentially need to be seen, they will check:
- If you have any cough, fever or other respiratory symptoms;
- If you have had contact with a confirmed COVID case.
Nurse Appointments: At present we will continue to carry out essential blood test appointments (e.g. chemotherapy blood tests and tests required to monitor the safety of medicines), necessary injections and dressings. These appointments need to be pre-arranged with the nursing team. We have restarted specific nurse led clinics (e.g. annual asthma reviews). To reduce the risk of cross infections we have been making more use of telephone and video consultations to conduct these reviews and only bringing patients in for tests that must be carried out in person.
Physiotherapy Appointments: These continue to be available, and are a mixture of telephone and face-to-face appointments.
Health Visitor Visits/Appointments: The Health Visitors will carry our childhood vaccinations and essential visits only and will contact you by telephone prior to any contact.
Midwife Ante-Natal Clinics: Antenatal care is essential care and will continue. The Midwife will contact you by telephone before your appointment. At present these will take place at the NHS facilities on Lauriston Place.
Hospital Appointments: Local hospitals have started accepting non-urgent referrals. They have asked us to highlight that there was a significant backlog of referrals prior to the COVID outbreak and that the COVID outbreak has reduced the system’s capacity to see people. Referrals may therefore result in written advice; a telephone or video consultation, and only in the minority of cases will a clinic appointment be offered.
Please note that for any NHS face-to-face appointment a mask must be worn. If you don’t have one of your own you will be provided one when you arrive.
COVID Vaccine Information – Main Link
The Practice is no longer administering the COVID vaccinations (or the flu vaccination). Instead, the Health Board is delivering this service. The best place to go to get all your COVID vaccination questions answered is the NHSInform website, using the link below. The site is updated regularly with all the latest information.
COVID Vaccine Information in Different Languages
Follow the link below for videos on what you need to know about the COVID-19 vaccination in English (Two different versions), Arabic, Bengali, Romanian, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Urdu, Polish, Swahili, Kurdish and BSL.
COVID Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions
The first link below is an up-to-date toolkit produced by Public Health Scotland containing a directory of commonly asked questions, ranging from vaccine concerns to practical appointment arrangements.
The second is a more in-depth resource – the FAQs are very detailed and address some trickier questions e.g. use of embryonic cell lines, concerns about altering DNA etc.
Proof of your Vaccination
If you need a record of your covid-19 vaccination history, please visit the following page of the NHS Inform website, or call on 0808 196 8565.
If you received one or both of your doses in another country, there is further information about the process for this by following the link above.
There are a very small number of people in Scotland who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.
If you’re unsure if you can be vaccinated, you can get advice either:
- by attending your local vaccination centre
- phoning the COVID Status Helpline on 0808 196 8565
If you think you cannot receive the vaccine for a medical reason, your local vaccination centre or the COVID Status Helpline (0808 196 8565) can:
- answer questions you may have
- can advise on what arrangements may be put in place so you can be vaccinated safely
If you’ve done this, and you cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, you’ll receive a secure paper exemption certificate in the post.
You should not contact your GP directly about an exemption certificate. GPs cannot provide exemption certificates.
COVID-19 VACCINATION AND BLOOD CLOTTING
The UK vaccination programme has been very successful with more than 30 million people vaccinated and more than 6,000 lives already saved.
What is the concern?
There have been reports of extremely rare conditions involving blood clots and unusual bleeding after AstraZeneca vaccine.
Around 4 people develop this condition for every million doses of AZ vaccine given.
This is seen slightly more often in younger people and tends to occur between 4 days and 2 weeks following vaccination. This condition can also occur naturally, and clotting problems are a common complication of COVID-19 infection.
What should I look out for after vaccination?
Although serious side effects are very rare, if you experience any of the following from around 4 days to 4 weeks after vaccination you should seek medical advice urgently.
- A new, severe headache which is not helped by usual painkillers or is getting worse
- A headache which seems worse when lying down or bending over
- An unusual headache that may be accompanied by:
- blurred vision, nausea and vomiting
- difficulty with your speech
- weakness, drowsiness or seizures
- New, unexplained pinprick bruising or bleeding
- Shortness of breath, chest pain, leg swelling or persistent abdominal pain
More information on this can be read in this Health Scotland Leaflet
Please see NHS Inform for updated guidance on side effects: www.nhsinform.scot/covid19vaccine
NHS SCOTLAND CORONAVIRUS / COVID-19 PATHWAY
If you have questions about this outbreak you should, in the first instance, refer to the information available on:
- The NHSInform website: https://www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus, OR
- The Health Protection Scotland website: https://www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/a-to-z-of-topics/covid-19/
Both of these websites detail the current self-isolation advice for anyone with a cough or fever or anyone with a household member with a cough or fever.
TEST AND PROTECT
Anyone in Scotland who is self-isolating because they are showing symptoms can be tested.
You can choose whether to attend one of the testing sites in Scotland or, subject to availability, to have a home testing kit delivered to your home.
To find out if you are eligible for testing you can access the NHS Inform self-help guide at www.nhsinform.scot/self-help-guides/self-help-guide-access-to-testing-for-coronavirus
If you want to book a test for you or a household member you can do so online at www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test
Results are sent to you directly by text. Everyone who tests positive for coronavirus will be put in touch with their local contact tracing team to help identify who they’ve been in close contact with.
Contact tracers will:
- ask questions to find out who they live with, which people they have been near recently and where they have been
- decide which of these people are close contacts based on how much time they spent with them and how physically close they were
- contact these people to tell them to isolate for 14 days
If you are contacted because you’re considered to be at risk you will not be told the identity of the infected person.
NHS Scotland have also now released a free phone app to help the Test and Protect process. The app will alert you if you have been in close contact with another app user who tests positive for coronavirus, but to protect privacy it won’t tell you who has tested positive or when you came into contact with them.
The app is available to download now from the App Store and from Google Play. You can read more about it here: protect.scot
For more information on the Test and Protect programme you can visit the NHS Inform website at: www.nhsinform.scot/campaigns/test-and-protect
INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR RECOVERY AFTER COVID-19
As you find yourself recovering from COVID-19 you may still be coming to terms with the impact the virus has had on both your body and mind.
These changes should get better over time, though some may take longer than others. There are things that you can do to help and we want to make sure the you have access to information that can help you with your recovery.
Due to this infection being so new our understanding of COVID-19 recovery is constantly improving and changing. To ensure you have the most accurate and up-to-date information possible we have included links to a number of information sources below. They will be kept up to date and have been recommended by the NHS and the Royal College of General Practitioners.
Unfortunately, there is no single source of information which covers everything we would like you to know and each of the sources below will be updated at different times. We would encourage everyone who is still recovering to read the NHS Lothian information leaflet as this covers some specific, self-directed rehabilitation advice. If you are struggling with your mental-health, we would also encourage you to read our mental health and well-being web page which has a focus on local supports and services.
We hope you find these information sources helpful, but would also highlight that some people who are struggling with their recovery from COVID-19 will need medical assessment. The linked websites/documents provide advice on when you should call the practice to arrange a GP telephone consultation.
Recovery after COVID-19
Published by NHS Lothian:
Guidance produced by the National Institute of Clinical Excellence, the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network and the Royal College of General Practitioners:
Coronavirus (COVID-19): Longer-term effects
Hosted by NHS inform – NHS Scotland’s health information service:
Your COVID recovery
NHS England website:
Mental health and wellbeing during the coronavirus pandemic
Bruntsfield Medical Practice have collated links a number of mental-health information sources and directly accessible supports:
Routine prescription requests should be handled without anyone entering the building.
If at all possible use the practice website to make all of your prescription requests – click here.
Please note due to very high demand and reduced staffing that prescriptions may now take 3 to 4 days to be processed. Ensure you submit your order in sufficient time accordingly.
When ordering a prescription please confirm which pharmacy you wish to collect your medication from. You will not be able to collect prescriptions from the practice.
If you are unable to use the online ordering system, please consider asking a relative or friend to order on your behalf.
If you have a regular pharmacy, you can ask them to make a prescription request on your behalf.
Ensure you check your regular pharmacy’s opening hours as some have amended their hours during the outbreak.
If there is no other option, you can drop off a written request at a new drop off point away from the reception desk but do everything you can to avoid this.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES DROP OFF A PRESCRIPTION REQUEST IF YOU HAVE A NEW FEVER OR COUGH.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends the use of face coverings to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. The best scientific and medical evidence available is that, when used correctly, wearing a face covering provides some additional protection, especially in crowded and less well ventilated spaces.
That is why the Scottish Government has made face coverings mandatory on public transport, shops, most indoor public places and indoor communal areas within workplaces. More information on the benefits of face coverings, how to make, wear and clean one safely, as well as a full list of places where they need to be worn can be found on the Scottish Government website.
Most people can wear a face covering and must do so in the mandated spaces in order to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 in Scotland and protect ourselves, each other and the NHS.
Face Covering Exemptions
There are situations where some people are unable to, or it would be inappropriate for them, to wear a face covering.
To help these people, in conjunction with Disability Equality Scotland, the Scottish Government now have a website that explains what some of these exemptions might be:
Even though written proof is not required if you are exempt from wearing a mask, the website also offers the use of an exemption card that can be downloaded from the website, or if you don’t have access to a printer or a smartphone, a physical card can be requested online.
COVID-19 AND YOUR WORK
Public Health Scotland have produced information for employers, employees and the self employed. It is available at covid19.healthyworkinglives.scot and they can be called directly on 0800 019 2211.
Further information and advice may available from your organisations occupational health service If you are self employed or work for a small / medium sized firm (under 250 employees) without an occupational health service NHS Lothian has a local occupational health service – Working Health Services – that can we called directly on 0131 537 9579.
Please note that General Practices are not occupational health advisors.
Thank you for your co-operation and helping us support all of our registered patients.