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.

Jul 032020

When the pandemic first started and we had to radically re-arrange our appointments system, only allowing patients to book appointment for on-the-day, we switched off the appointments texting system as it wasn’t really needed and would only cause confusion.

Now that things are a little more settled into a more stable schedule, and as we are allowing more appointments to be booked in advance, for the nursing appointments at least, we are switching the system back on.

This will be for appointments starting Monday 6th July and for the Practice Nurses, the Health Care Assistant and our Integrated Care Pharmacist only. Texting for GP appointments will be looked at again in a few weeks.

For a reminder on how our appointment reminder texts work, you can read the guidance on the following page: www.bruntsfieldmedicalpractice.co.uk/services/text-messaging

We are regularly reviewing the situation with the pandemic and amending our services and appointment system as advised by the Health Board and the Scottish Government.

We are aware that this website needs updated to make it a little more clear which services are available and which are still postponed. We are planning an update over the next few weeks, but in the meantime if you have any questions about your current treatment, or you are experiencing new symptoms and you are unsure if a review is appropriate please just call the Practice on 0131 228 6081 and one of our Patient Service Advisers will do their best to assist.

UPDATE 09/07/2020 – unfortunately we’ve had to stop the appointment texts again as there has been a conflict with our revised long term condition review process. We will try to get this resolved as soon as possible and gets appointment text back for patients with a future appointment booked.

Jul 032020

From Monday 29th June, anyone who was invited for cervical screening before the pause and was yet to make an appointment, or had their appointment cancelled, will be able to contact their GP practice to make an appointment.

Appointment invitations and reminders will be posted from mid-July, with invitations sent to those who receive more frequent (non-routine) cervical screening appointments first.

Routine screening will recommence once NHS Scotland has caught up with the non-routine appointments affected by the pause.

If you received an invite before the pause or had your appointment cancelled due to COVID-19, contact us on 0131 228 6081 now to book your cervical screening (smear test).

Due to COVID-19, a number of safety measures have been put in place to ensure it is safe to attend screening appointment. There is no change to the screening test itself.

For more information visit www.nhsinform.scot/cervicalscreeningresumes

If you are concerned about a potential sign or symptom, don’t wait for your screening invite to arrive. Contact us to get it checked. For more information about the symptoms of cervical cancer visit www.nhsinform.scot/cervicaltest

Jun 112020

The practice regrets to advise that we are unfortunately unable to take on any new patient registrations at present and it is necessary to restrict registrations. This is due to the fact we are actively addressing a long “waiting list” of patients wishing to register. As soon as we are in a position to do so we will update you on how we plan to process future registrations.

In the meantime please note that the following categories of patients can be registered without restriction.

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

Temporary Residents and patients requiring to be seen on an Immediately Necessary basis will also be seen as necessary.

Whilst we address our current waiting list please note that you can visit the NHS website www.nhsinform.scot/national-service-directory and enter your postcode to establish what other practice options are available meantime.

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

Apr 162020

NHS Scotland is currently working to identify and help proactively manage patients who are at particularly high risk of severe morbidity and mortality from COVID-19.

This group has been identified, based on expert consensus, and include the following categories:

  1. Solid organ transplant recipients
  2. People with specific cancers
    • People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radical radiotherapy for lung cancer
    • People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
    • People having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
    • People having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors.
    • People who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs.
  3. People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD
  4. People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell disease)
  5. People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection or who have had their spleens removed
  6. People who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired
  7. People who are receiving renal dialysis treatment

People identified as being in these groups are being sent a letter with advice on how to protect themselves and access the care and treatment they need during this time. (you can find the letter attached below for info).

A new national helpline is being set up to provide essential assistance to those who don’t have a network of support but who are at high risk of contracting COVID-19.

The helpline – 0800 111 4000 – will initially operate during core working hours of 09:00 to 17:00 while plans are developed and implemented to extend it to operate for a longer period each day.

To read more about who can access the helpline, and what help they can offer, you can visit the Scottish Government website.

UPDATE 08/06/2020

From 8th June, those on the Government’s “shielding” list will start to receive an update letter from the Scottish Government.

This letter informs patients that while at this time they cannot give them an exact date for when shielding will end, over the summer, they will be working on ways to help them make informed decisions based on their individual circumstances, needs, and the risk of catching the virus in their local community.

Patients are being asked to continue to shield until 31 July. This position will be reviewed in July and any further changes will depend on the progress made in managing the spread of the virus across Scotland.

A copy of this letter is linked below:

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.

Apr 022020

Dr Peter Wands has been appointed as a GP Partner in a local Practice from the beginning of April. His last day consulting in the Practice will be Friday 3rd April 2020.

Dr Wands has been with the Practice since October 2015 and we will be sorry to see him go. He will be very much missed by both his patients and colleagues but I am sure you will join with us in wishing him every success in the future.

Dr David MacSorley is increasing his sessions to take over as Dr Wands’ successor. All patients who have Dr Wands identified as their usual GP will have Dr Dave MacSorley flagged in their records as their “Usual GP” to ensure there is a clearly identified GP to follow-up ongoing problems/correspondence/results etc. Should you regularly see one of the other doctors in the Practice then you may continue to do so. Patients can choose to see the doctor of their choice.

We are delighted that Dr MacSorley is increasing the number of sessions he works and will continue to work with us.

We are also pleased to advise that Dr Kenneth Duffy will remain with us following completion of his GP training year in August 2020.

In the meantime we will take on additional Locum cover as necessary.

Patients currently registered with Dr Wands need take no further action but be aware that he will no longer be available from Monday 6th April 2020 onwards.

Mar 272020

All of us have physical health and mental health. Just like our physical health, sometimes our mental health is not so good. Particularly in times of stress, as is the case during this coronavirus pandemic. It is well established that there is a close correlation between physical and mental health wellbeing.

It is vital that we all follow the government’s advice on social distancing and isolation to minimise the impact of the coronavirus on the more vulnerable members of our community. But social isolation and social distancing is leaving many people feeling anxious and low in mood. In addition, many patients with pre-existing mental health difficulties are finding their usual support being temporarily unavailable.

Lots of the population will be facing financial stress over uncertainty of work.

Patients will have previously arranged hospital appointments and procedures delayed or cancelled.

Many will be worrying about family and friends who are elderly, vulnerable or key workers.

Parents will be pushed to new limits, caring for children physically and emotionally. Tasked with educating and entertaining them at home, without usual support and trying to work.

It is particularly important that we look after our mental health in these challenging times. We have put together some resources and advice that we hope will provide some additional support over the coming months. Of course, many of the charities will not be offering a face to face service in view of the pandemic but may be able to offer support online or by telephone instead.


  • Edspace: an up-to-date mental health information website which provides a directory of mental health services in Edinburgh, mental health fact sheets, and links to mental health information.
  • Steps for Stress: Scottish government publication and simple guide to stressing less and enjoying life more
  • SAMH: a Scottish MH charity with information, advice and tips about mental health problems and online support
  • Feeling Good App: Developed by the Positive Mental Health Foundation. This is a video and audio programme which can be downloaded on to iPhones, iPads, Android phones and tablets.
  • NHS endorsed mental health APPS: A variety of apps designed to provide techniques to reduce stress, anxiety, low mood and encourage relaxation and mental health well being
  • Living Life telephone based CBT: NHS 24 offers a specialist telephone support service for people using the online Living Life to the Full computerised CBT life skills course. Living Life is open from Monday to Thursday 10am to 9pm and Friday 10am to 6pm on free phone 0800 328 9655. You can just self refer. Further information is available at www.nhs24.scot or from the Edspace website.
  • Financial Advice: A quick guide to “crisis response” resources to help individuals with immediate essential living costs.


  • Support for Families in SE Edinburgh: this is an 8 page resource with link to free or low-cost activities and support available during COVID-19, under the headings, ‘Support and Information for Parents and Carers’, ‘Additional Support Needs’, ‘Support for Black and Minority Ethnic Families’, ‘Support for Young People’, ‘Family Activities’, ‘Financial Support and Advice’ and ‘Community Food’.
  • Online Resource for Parents and Carers: The Scottish Government has announced that all families in Scotland will have free access to the Solihull Online resource for parents and carers from the antenatal period to 19 years. Solihull Online offers a series of modules containing interactive activities, quizzes and video clips. To access the free courses, families need to use the access code TARTAN



  • NHS CAHMS Covid Resources: Useful resources for parents and carers, children and young people and those with autism, neurodevelopmental disorders and/or learning disability
  • NHS CAHMS Online Resources: Further well-being and mental health information for parents, as well as children and young people is available on the NHS Lothian CAMHS website
  • Hands On Scotland: a website that provides help and practical advice for supporting children and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing. It has been created by Fife CAHMS team (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service)
  • Young Scot: National youth information and citizenship charity for 11-26 year olds


Anyone who is struggling with their mental health will benefit from a holistic approach, looking after all aspects of their health. 

Regular healthy nutrition

  • Reduce processed foods high in sugar and salt
  • Aim for 5 portions of fruits and veg a day
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Buy frozen fruit
  • Grow your own fruit and veg
  • Consider batch cooking and freezing portions
  • Live Well Eat Well

Reduction in alcohol consumption

No more than 14 units a week for men or woman, spread throughout the week and with several days of alcohol free


Regular exercise

  • Go for a walk at a quiet time round the block taking care to social distance.
  • Cycle to work if you cannot work from home
  • Consider a home exercise programme in your garden
  • Fitness Studio exercise video: NHS range of free online exercise including aerobic, strength and resistance, yoga and Pilates, dance including Latino and belly dancing
  • Follow “Just dance” videos free on YouTube
  • There are many celebrities doing free online exercises classes, e.g.
  • Fit for health: this is an exercise programme delivered by Edinburgh Leisure Leisure in partnership with NHS Lothian for people with long term health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, heart failure or diabetes/at risk of developing diabetes.
  • Edinburgh Leisure: Edinburgh Leisure general advice about Fitness at Home during Coronavirus including online exercises and workouts


It is easy to let routines slip and become nocturnal when you become depressed. Difficulty getting off to sleep can be a sign of depression, whilst frequent early wakening a sign of anxiety. It is important to maintain a normal awake/sleep routine

Relaxation and Recreation

  • Limiting screen time, particularly in the evenings
  • Maintain social contact using online video conferencing tools
  • Maintain routine even if working from home. Don’t work in the evenings and weekends, but ensure you start at the usual time, stopping for coffee and lunch
  • Be realistic at what you can achieve in your day
  • Use extra time at home to finish projects that have been annoying you
  • Read a novel or download a book
  • Take up new hobbies or learning opportunities
    e.g https://britishmuseum.withgoogle.com/: Take a virtual tour of a Museum with Google Institute
  • Take 10 minutes out each day to practice MINDFULNESS
    • Notice the everyday
    • Keep it regular
    • Try something new
    • Watch your thoughts
    • Name thoughts and feelings
    • Free yourself from past and future
  • Headspace
  • Mindful breathing exercise video on YouTube

Have a plan for a Crisis

Particularly at times of prolonged heightened stress and social isolation, it is important to reach out if you are significantly stressed or overwhelmed. We are open for telephone consultations in our usual hours for advice and support. In addition, below are some other crisis numbers

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.

Feb 262020

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

There is a lot of information out there at the moment about the Wuhan Coronavirus, now named COVID-19, and much of it is changing/updating daily.

If you wish to stay informed, or are worried about some aspect of the outbreak then please use the links below to keep yourself up-to-date on the list of risk areas, potential symptoms and advice on what to do if you suspect you be infected:

The NHSInform website: https://www.nhsinform.scot/coronavirus

The Health Protection Scotland website: https://www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/a-to-z-of-topics/covid-19/

At the Practice, we are keeping outselves appraised of the situation as information is released, and following the advice coming from NHS Scotland and HPS. We will update our website, and our telephone system with any news that affects the normal running of the surgery.

Feb 072020

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

The spread of cases beyond China has prompted a change in case definition used within the UK.

So now, we would like to request that should you have travelled to China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macau, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan or Thailand in the past 14 days, or been in contact with someone with a confirmed case of the Wuhan coronovirus, that you assist us by not entering the practice in order to avoid contact with other people.

Actions for travellers returning from affected areas

  • All travellers who have been in Hubei Province in the past 14 days and have no symptoms should self isolate till the end of the 14 day period
  • Travellers who have been in any other affected area named in the case definition in the past 14 days and who have no symptoms, can continue their usual activities
  • Travellers who have been in any affected area and have acute respiratory symptoms (at least one of fever, cough or shortness of breath) should call their GP practice or NHS 24 using the number 111. Individuals should not attend their GP surgery in person, but should telephone for advice from home

Actions for anyone who has been in contact with a confirmed case

  • Anyone who has been in contact with a confirmed case in the past 14 days and has no symptoms should self isolate till the end of the 14 day period since last contact. They should contact their GP practice or NHS 24 using the number 111.
  • Anyone who has acute respiratory symptoms (fever, cough or shortness of breath) should call their GP practice or NHS 24 using the number 111. Individuals should not attend their GP surgery in person, but should telephone for advice from home

For more information and advice, please visit nhsinform.scot.

Jan 302020

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

Following advice from Health Protection Scotland regarding the coronavirus, we would like to request that should you have travelled to Wuhan City, China in the past 14 days, or been in contact with someone who has, that you assist us by not entering the practice in order to avoid contact with other people.

The following advice should be followed so we can avoid the risk of infection to patients and staff.

  • You should return home, stay indoors and avoid contact with other people.
  • Contact NHS 24 on 111 who will give advice about isolating for 14 days after return from the area
  • Contact NHS 24 if you develop respiratory symptoms within 14 days of travel to Wuhan City or have had contact with someone who has been there
  • Inform NHS 24 of your travel history and symptoms when you call
  • If become symptomatic do not leave home until you have been given advice by a doctor
  • Coronavirus does not usually spread if people don’t have symptoms but it is a precautionary measure that patients stay indoors to avoid the risk of spreading infection.

Thank you for your co-operation in assisting us avoid the risk of infection.

Dec 192019

The Winter 2019-20 issue of the Bruntsfield Medical Practice Newsletter is now available to read online.

In this issue we remind eligible patients that the flu vaccination is still available, we go over a few things to remember if you plan to hand in a sample, and we let our patients know about the services our Practice Integrated Care Pharmacist can offer.

Dec 102019

If you are on a repeat medication, please make sure you have enough to last you over the Christmas and New Year period.

The Practice is closed all day on Wed 25th and Thu 26th December 2019, and then again on Wed 1st and Thu 2nd January 2020 (Extended Open Surgeries are being held on Tue 24th December and Fri 3rd January to help compensate for the increased number of people who will need to be seen before and following the holidays).

Around this time we will also be short staffed due to holiday leave and trying to prepare for, and then catch up from, the public holidays.

So please don’t leave things until the last minute – prepare today.

For further advice on this subject, and more on being health-wise and prepared over winter you can visit the NHSInform website: