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Eyemouth Medical Practice Newsletter


The practice has welcomed recent opportunities to engage with our community and listen to feedback. One of the suggestions was for a newsletter to outline practice developments and to share this information around the Community Council network. We hope this newsletter can be displayed on community notice boards and we will also add it to the practice website.
Telephone Contact

The practice has heard and acknowledged that some patients have had difficulty contacting us by phone over recent months despite more telephone lines being added during the pandemic. We are looking at alternative ways for you to be able to contact the practice in the hope that this will reduce the pressure on phone lines at peak times. In the meantime, it would be helpful if routine appointment requests, enquiries about administrative tasks (such as medical reports or access to records) and calls about results could be made in the afternoon when the phone lines tend to be quieter.


In line with a national direction of travel, we will be providing a hybrid service for the foreseeable future. This means that we will offer the option of both in person and remote (telephone or video) consultations. Patients calling to make appointments currently will be asked if they prefer to attend the practice for a face-to-face appointment or whether they would prefer a telephone consultation at a pre-booked time. We will do our best to make telephone calls as close to the designated time as possible. Moving towards this system will allow us to offer an increased number of pre-bookable, routine appointments. It is helpful if you are able to provide the receptionist with an indication of the nature of your problem when you call for an appointment. This helps us to book your appointment as efficiently as possible with the right member of our team. Some of our clinicians have restrictions in relation to the cases they can see so the information you provide will help avoid inappropriate bookings. However, if you feel uneasy providing the receptionist with information about your problem, we will respect your choice and provide a suitable appointment.

As the restrictions ease, the practice team is very much looking forward to seeing more of our patients in the building over the coming months. At the time of writing this update, routine pre-bookable appointments are available within two weeks although waits may be a little longer for appointments with a specific clinician.

As guidance, the following situations are usually suitable for a telephone consultation :

  1. Discussions about the results of investigations
  2. Medication queries and reviews
  3. Conversations about Fit Notes (“sick notes”), hospital letters and other documents
  4. Review after a previous face-to-face consultation (as guided by a clinician)
  5. Mental health reviews
  6. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) and contraception advice
  7. Initial consultations for Covid positive and vulnerable patients who cannot or do not wish to attend the practice.
  8. Clinical problems such as urine infections or sinus problems that do not routinely need a clinical examination to assess.
Electronic Prescription Ordering

Following recent concerns around the electronic ordering of prescriptions, the practice has made a decision to suspend the use of the website ordering facility. The practice website has been updated accordingly with new advice. Prescriptions requests can still be made by emailing the practice at

We are receiving support from the NHS Borders IT team to resolve any difficulties related to the website and email prescription request processes. The practice will continue to monitor this situation closely.

Access to the Practice

Unfortunately, the practice still needs to adhere to national guidance that directs our team to screen every person entering the building for respiratory infections. For this reason and to ensure observation of social distancing guidance in communal areas, we do still need to monitor the flow of patients in to, around and out of the building. We understand that this restriction is frustrating for patients but we will continue to review this approach on a regular basis or when updated guidance is issued. We hope to be able to see more patients in the building again in due course.


The practice team welcomes constructive feedback from patients. Every concern raised is taken seriously and receives the attention of one of the GP partners or the practice managers. Our complaints policy is available on the practice website and paper copies can be made available on request. We use our learning from patient experiences to review our services and will always aim for improvement. For clarity, no patient will be removed from the practice list simply as a result of lodging a complaint. For as long as our records exist, no patient has ever been removed from the practice for any reason. The practice is working alongside colleagues at NHS Borders to review patient feedback.

We are grateful for the positive, complimentary comments that we continue to receive from patients using our service. Having worked through such difficult circumstances over the past two years, positive feedback gives our team a much needed morale boost.

Alternative Sources of Help

We have received comments about alternatives routes of help being confusing and unclear. We understand that this is frustrating for patients and agree that some of the national messaging about Scotland wide service change has not always been clear or easily visible to patients. There are new routes open to access a range of services and the practice team has also expanded to offer a wider range of services from various healthcare professionals. It is our intention to summarise these options to produce some specific local guidance for patients in the near future. We hope this will help everyone navigate services more easily. We will share this information in due course.

Pandemic Pressures

Finally, the Covid pandemic pressures remain across the NHS and recovery from the effects of the past 2 years will inevitably take many years. Like every other organisation, the practice and the wider NHS Borders workforce continue to experience unprecedented levels of staff sickness absence as a result of illness and self-isolation requirements. Our staff absence rate over recent weeks has been at the highest level of the pandemic. The level of Covid in the community is higher than it has ever been so continued caution is still required in planning healthcare services. We have clinically vulnerable patients and staff to protect in the course of undertaking our duties and organising services. We take this responsibility very seriously.

NHS Borders publishes a Waiting Times Report. This can be found at :

Please be kind to our team whilst we are working under these conditions as we are all working harder than we have ever worked before in our careers. In return, our team will do our best to minimise disruption and to provide as many services as we can safely deliver at the current time.

Patients who have been referred to specialist services should be aware of this information and direct any enquiries regarding waiting times directly to NHS Borders. Ongoing clinical care prior to specialist review will be provided by the practice.

Please be kind to our team whilst we are working under these conditions as we are all working harder than we have ever worked before in our careers. In return, our team will do our best to minimise disruption and to provide as many services as we can safely deliver at the current time.