Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine change UPDATED 13 MAY 2021
There is a change coming to our local Covid vaccination programme in response to new national JCVI guidance that was released at the end of last week. The JCVI are now advising that patients aged 18-39 years receive vaccine other than Astra Zeneca whilst reiterating the need to maintain the pace and scale of the overall vaccination programme. This means we will now be offering the Pfizer vaccine to any patients who are yet to receive their 1st dose of vaccine. We will continue to deliver 2nd AZ doses to patients who have already received a 1st dose of AZ.
We will be contacting patients aged 18-39 years for their 1st vaccine dose to make an appointment to receive the Pfizer vaccine at one of our 2 clinics to be held in June. The June clinics will be the last opportunity for patients to receive a 1st dose of the Covid vaccine from the local Practice.
Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics UPDATED 12 MAY 2021
The next clinic will be for 2nd doses for patients who received their 1st dose of Astra Zeneca vaccine before 26 March 2021.
Date: Tuesday 25 May
Time: Appointments start from 09:00
Place: Gairloch Community Centre
We will contact eligible patients in turn to make an appointment. Please do not call us as we need to invite patients as their 2nd dose becomes due and in line with the national age based cohorts.
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).
We are recruiting a Practice Nurse
The practice is seeking an additional qualified nurse to join our Practice Nursing team. The role would suit either an experienced PN looking for a change of working environment or a qualified nurse with an interest in developing their General Practice skill set.
Closing date for applications is Friday 28 May 2021. Contact details for more information and an application form as per the advert link below:
Practice Nurse advert
Coronavirus COVID-19 accessing services as lockdown eases UPDATED 23 APRIL 2021
As restrictions are eased and Highland moves from Level 4 protection we are making some changes to how GP practice services can be accessed.
We will continue to carry out as many appointments as possible over the phone or by video consultation. Patients who wish to request a Face to Face appointment can now be booked without needing to speak to a clinician over the phone beforehand. Please ask for this when booking your appointment. Our waiting rooms are now available, with socially distanced seating, for patients attending the surgery in person. Please ring the door bell when you arrive and you will be admitted to the building. We ask all visitors to continue to wear a face covering and to use hand sanitiser when entering and leaving the building.
The surgery doors will remain closed. We expect this to continue for the foreseeable future to reduce footfall in the buildings as we all travel more and welcome more visitors to the area. Patients who wish to contact the surgeries should continue to do so by telephone.
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.
Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccination Passports UPDATED 12 MAY 2021
Please do not contact the Practice to ask for a Covid vaccination passport or status certificate as we are unable to provide any standard document. International certification standards have not yet been agreed. The Scottish Government is working with the other UK Nations and with the World Health Organisation to agree future COVID certification requirements for international travel. As part of this, they are developing a technical solution that could allow people to access their COVID vaccination status directly.
Recent news coverage about the "NHS App" providing this functionality only applies to England and Wales. The NHS app has not been adopted by the Scottish Government.
Coronavirus COVID-19 Vaccine Side Effects UPDATED 14 APRIL 2021
NHS Inform have a dedicated web page with latest information about vaccine side effects and any change in use of the Astra Zeneca vaccine.
Patients can self-report suspected side effects from their Covid vaccine online at the MHRA "Yellow-card" 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 26 APRIL 2021
For details of what tests are available and how to order them please go to NHS Inform or phone 0800 028 2816.
Home PCR testing kits for people with symptoms can be accessed from the Gairloch Fire Station. Patients who wish to use this local service need to phone NHS Highland on 01463 706015 to arrange a time to collect a test kit. The facility is open Mon - Fri between the hours of 1800-1900. 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.
Rapid or LFD (Lateral Flow Device) tests for people without symptoms are available to order from NHS Inform. If you receive a positive result with a LFD test you must self-isolate immediately and also book a PCR test within 48 hours.
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 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.
Coronavirus COVID-19 websites UPDATED 15 MARCH 2021
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
Register as an unpaid carer to receive the Covid vaccination in cohort #6 https://register.vacs.nhs.scot/
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