The festive season is fast approaching so we would like to share the following information with our patients.

NHS Borders has designated the following dates as Public Holidays so the practice will be closed on these 4 dates :-

  1. Monday 26th December 2016
  2. Tuesday 27th December 2016
  3. Monday 2nd January 2017
  4. Tuesday 3rd January 2017

As a result of these planned closures, we anticipate a high demand for appointments on Wednesday 28th and Thursday 29th December after the Christmas break and again on Wednesday 4th and Thursday 5th January after the New Year break. On these dates, please note that it is likely that our telephone lines will be extremely busy so please only contact the practice regarding urgent matters. If you need urgent medical care on these dates, it would be most helpful to contact the practice as early as possible in the morning so that our clinical staff can plan their workload and prioritise demands according to medical need. 

As a result of the current building work, all community healthcare teams are experiencing some restriction in access to clinical space within the Heath Centre which may impact upon our ability to provide additional capacity on working days following Public Holidays. 

On Public Holidays when the practice is closed, urgent medical advice should be obtained from NHS24 by calling 111. In the event of a medical emergency, call 999 for an ambulance. 

Specimens will not be collected from the practice on the Public Holidays so please do not drop samples in to our drop boxes when the practice is closed. Delayed specimens that are not sent to the laboratory on the same day will often be of little value making results unreliable. Specimens will be collected around 11am on Wednesday 28th December and Wednesday 4th January after the Public Holiday closures. 

Please ensure, in anticipation of the designated Public Holidays shown above, that you have sufficient medication for the festive season. Plan ahead and request essential medication well in advance to allow time for both the issue of the prescription by the practice and dispensing by your chosen pharmacy. This can take several working days to complete. During the holiday period, we would encourage patients to utilise, where possible, the Minor Ailment Service provided at community pharmacies to avoid unnecessary appointments with our GPs or nurses. 

In the event of absence from work due to ill health over the festive season, please note that the practice will not issue a “sick note” (now named a Fit Note) for absence under 7 days as these periods should be self-certified with your employer. A Fit Note should be issued directly from a hospital if you have attended Accident & Emergency as an outpatient or following an admission as an inpatient. Very often (where appropriate) GPs can issue a Fit Note without a face to face consultation so please inform reception if you require this service. 

If you still wish to receive a flu vaccine, now that all our flu vaccination clinics have all been held, please contact reception for an appointment with a member of our clinical team. Vaccines will remain available until the end of March 2017.

Finally, may we take this opportunity to wish all our patients a healthy 2017!