Dr Mitchell is retiring
As previously notified, Dr Mitchell is retiring from the Practice. His last working day will be Wednesday 30 September. Please join us in wishing Grahame and Donna all the best for their future plans.
The COVID-19 virus is in our community UPDATED 26 AUGUST
We can confirm that we have received at least one positive test result from a patient in our community. We should all redouble our efforts to:
- practise hand hygiene by washing or using hand sanitiser
- maintain social distancing of at least 2 metres
- practise respiratory hygiene by using tissues and covering our mouth when coughing or sneezing
- wear face coverings when social distancing is not practicable
- self-isolate if we develop any symptoms of the virus
- remember FACTS for a safer Scotland
Your GP Practice is still here to help you when you are unwell. Please contact us by phone if you wish to make an appointment. For the foreseeable future we will continue to keep our doors closed and to reduce footfall in the surgeries. We offer telephone or video appointments plus will arrange to see patients face to face when clinically necessary. We may have to suspend some routine services if there is further evidence of sustained community transmission.
Patients who wish to arrange to be tested for the virus should follow the links below re. patient testing.
Flu campaign for 2020/21 - UPDATED 9 SEPTEMBER
This year patients can receive their flu vaccination by attending a drive-through flu vaccination clinic. Patients will need to stay in their car and be vaccinated through an open car window. This ensures we maintain social distancing and also means the surgery does not need to be cleaned and all PPE changed between each patient. Drive-through clinics have been successfully used for Covid-19 testing across the country. We are not offering flu vaccination appointments at the surgeries.
The drive-through clinics will be held at the local fire stations in Gairloch (Mihol Road) and Aultbea (Birchburn). We are really pleased to be working closely with our colleagues in the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to provide a new vaccination delivery service that keeps us all safe.
The first clinics will be held as follows:
Saturday 10 October 09.30-16.30 Gairloch Fire Station, Mihol Road
Saturday 17 October 09.30-16.30 Aultbea Fire Station, Birchburn
For more information see our flu leaflet Flu invite
There is also more general information about flu immunisation on the NHS Inform website
Coronavirus COVID-19 use of face coverings UPDATED 16 JULY
Please wear a face covering if visiting the surgery. Unlike when visiting a shop or using public transport it is NOT mandatory to wear a face covering but if you do so it will help us all reduce the risk of further infection. Please use your own preferred method of covering your mouth and nose that is made of cloth or other textiles and through which you can breathe.
Patients who have Covid symptoms and/or have had a positive test result must wear surgical face masks and gloves when seeing a clinician face-to-face and in this case we will provide appropriate PPE.
Coronavirus COVID-19 please return BP machines
We have a Medical Equipment Fund for donations kindly given by the community. Some donations come after funeral collections whereas others may be from patients, visitors or after specific local fundraising events. However they may arise, the Practice would like to express its grateful thanks to all those who have given so generously.
Donated funds are kept separate from other practice accounts and used for the purchase of medical equipment not normally provided by the NHS. Recent purchases from the fund include an ECG machine used by GPs out of hours. We also have lots of portable blood pressure monitors that can be borrowed by patients to monitor their BP at home.
One of the unintended consequences of the change to our service delivery during the pandemic is that patients are not visiting the surgeries to return loan BP machines. They are more important than ever now we are returning to routine disease monitoring. If you have a practice BP machine at home could you please return it to the surgery as soon as it is no longer needed. Just drop it off at the door when you are passing and ring the door bell to let us know that it needs picked up.
We are very grateful to all those who contribute in any way to the equipment fund; the whole community benefits from your generosity.
Coronavirus COVID-19 patient testing UPDATED 27 AUGUST
Testing for virus infection is available in Scotland for health & social care key workers and for anyone with symptoms. Please do not call us to request testing. There are government testing portals and the NHS Inform website has an online guide that patients should complete to find out whether you qualify as a key worker or under other rules.
The NHS Inform guide can be found at www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-covid-19-testing or follow the coronavirus link from the NHS Inform front page. Tests can also be booked by calling 0800 028 2816. Do not call NHS24 111 to book at test.
Video consultations can be requested
We have the technology! If patients have a smart device connected to the internet with a camera (smartphone, iPad, laptop, PC + webcam, etc.) then we can offer a video consultation with clinicians. Clearly there will be circumstances when this is not appropriate, for example a blood test, but often video can offer a richer experience than a telephone call.
Please feel free to request a video consultation when booking your appointment. We can also offer an option to include more than one participant in the video consultation such as a relative who is living elsewhere. Practice link for video consultations: https://nhsattend.vc/gpnearme/aultbea-gairloch
Coronavirus COVID-19 how to order repeat medication
Our Vision Online Services repeat medication ordering is available. This service allows patients to login to a secure website and select your own repeat medication to order from what is available to you. The system will tell you if a request is in progress and allows the exchange of simple messages such as requesting additional medication that is not on your repeats list.
To sign up for online services you will need an email address and access to the internet. The email address must be specific to one person and not shared. To sign up telephone your local surgery and be prepared to confirm your identity over the phone and we will help you get set up for the service.
Patients can also request repeat medication either by calling their local surgery when we are open and choosing option 2 or by calling our dedicated phonelines on 712358 (Gairloch) or 731599 (Aultbea) at any time.
Coronavirus COVID-19 Shielding highest risk patients UPDATED 9 SEPTEMBER
Certain patients at very high risk of both catching the virus and of a severe illness if they do so were sent a letter by the Scottish Government in early April. The Scottish Government announced that shielding is paused from 1 August. Those on the shielding list are advised to follow the guidance issued to the general population including stringent social distancing and hand hygiene measures. Household members of shielding patients can be given the flu vaccination in the coming flu campaign.
Coronavirus COVID-19 Medication deliveries UPDATED 5 AUGUST
Gairloch Pharmacy has announced that the volunteer service providing medication deliveries to everyone in the local area is no longer available with effect from Monday 3 August. Patients should arrange to collect their medication from the pharmacy of their choice.
The Gairloch Pharmacy has announced they have worked with local community representatives to arrange a weekly medication delivery service to help those patients who are unable to arrange to collect their medication in person. Details of the new service are included in the pharmacy announcement.
The doors to both practice surgeries remain closed to anyone without a prearranged face to face appointment. We must continue to reduce footfall in the surgeries so for the foreseeable future it is not possible to restart medication collections from the Aultbea Surgery which ceased in March.
It would be helpful if patients could try to order all medication items at one time to save repeated trips to the pharmacy.
Coronavirus COVID-19 websites UPDATED 19 AUGUST 2020
NHS Inform - self isolation and self care advice for Scotland www.nhsinform.scot
Health Protection Scotland - more detailed guidance and evidence www.hps.scot.nhs.uk
UK Govt - guidance for households self isolating https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance
NHS UK - get an isolation note for your employer https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note
UK Govt - guidance for employees and employers UK Govt advice
Scottish Government collected Covid-19 guidance SG Covid-19 guidance
Scottish Govt information about volunteering Ready Scotland
Highland Council support for high risk Shielding patients www.highland.gov.uk/shielding.
GP Near Me link for patients to access the video consultation service (needs either Chrome or Safari browser)
Tick bites and lyme disease
Ticks are small, spider-like creatures which feed on the blood of animals and humans. Some of them carry Lyme disease which is an infectious disease which can be treated with antibiotics if detected early. However the best way of protecting against Lyme disease is to prevent tick bites or if bitten to remove the tick safely from the skin as soon as possible.
The practice has a number of resources available to help patients deal with tick bites and for advice when concerned, including translated versions in French and German. They can be found on our Tick Bites webpage following the Tick bites link under Further Information.
Our practice patient information leaflet has been updated with the latest guidance:
Tick bites patient leaflet