New GP Partner
The Practice is pleased to announce that we have a new GP Partner. Dr Graham Robertson started with us on 8 February but some patients may recall that he has been with us previously as a GP trainee for 6 months in 2018 and then again for a year in 2019-20.
Please join us in welcoming Graham to the practice team.
Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine UPDATED 19 FEBRUARY 2021
Many thanks to Bruce, Ciaran and their colleagues from SSE for providing a generator at Gairloch Health Centre so our pharmacy fridge contents will not be damaged in today's power shutdown. We are waiting for further deliveries of covid vaccine before we can schedule our next clinic. This will be announced here and via local media as usual.
We will invite patients in line with the national JCVI cohorts. The next cohort to be called (#5) will be the remainder of patients aged 65-69yrs. We also expect to be able to make a start on the subsequent cohort #6 which includes patients who are clinically "at risk" aged between 16-64yrs. This is a big group of patients and we will work through it in date of birth order, inviting the eldest first as we have with other cohorts.
The Scottish Government has announced that some healthboard areas will send out letters to eligible patients with an invitation to their vaccination appointment. Some will be in distinctive blue envelopes. This methodology is NOT being used by NHS Highland health board. Our patients should wait to hear from the GP surgery when we are making appointments. Do not call us - we will call you.
If you have a general question relating to COVID-19 vaccinations, please visit www.nhsinform.scot/covid19vaccine or call the Scottish COVID-19 Vaccination Helpline on
0800 030 8013 (available 8am–8pm 7 days a week).
Flu campaign for 2020/21 - UPDATED 13 JANUARY
We have carried out 4 drive through flu clinics between October and December 2020. Uptake has been very high this year and we have already given more flu vaccinations than in any previous year. All efforts are now focused on delivery of the Covid vaccination and no further flu clinics are planned at this time.
We cannot make separate appointments for flu vaccination at the surgeries.
There is more general information about flu immunisation on the NHS Inform website
Coronavirus COVID-19 use of face coverings UPDATED 20 JANUARY
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 cannot wear a face covering are requested to make us aware of this before attending the surgery so we can make the appropriate arrangements.
For more details on face coverings, including exemptions and other guidance see the SG website: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-public-use-of-face-coverings/
Patients who develop any Covid symptoms (persistent cough, fever, loss of sense of taste or smell) should NOT attend the surgery. In this case follow the national guidance on self-isolation and testing. Contact the surgery by telephone to rearrange your appointment.
Coronavirus COVID-19 patient testing UPDATED 17 FEBRUARY
Home testing kits can now be accessed from the Gairloch Fire Station. Patients who wish to use this new local service need to phone NHS Highland on 01463 706015 to arrange a time to collect a test kit. Tests can be self administered overnight and then returned via a priority post box in Poolewe. Full details of how this new test service works will be provided by phoning this number.
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 11 JANUARY
Certain patients at very high risk of both catching the virus and of a severe illness if they do so have been sent a letter by the Scottish Government (SG). SG announced that shielding is paused from 1 August.
With the move to national Level 4 status since Boxing Day Shielding patients have been sent a further SG letter with latest advice included.
Coronavirus COVID-19 Medication deliveries UPDATED 11 JANUARY
Gairloch Pharmacy has announced that their service, including volunteer based deliveries to patients who are unable to make alternative arrangements, remains unchanged in the current lockdown.
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)
All questions relating to COVID-19 vaccinations www.nhsinform.scot/covid19vaccine
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