May 08:- Issue 22

Spring 2008

Patient Information

Building Works - As you may already be aware there is building work being undertaken in the Health Centre at present. The aim is to create more consulting rooms on the 2 nd floor for use by the health visitors, midwives and the doctors/practice nurses. The rooms on the 2nd floor will now mirror the 1 st floor – ie if the patient is standing at reception, all the Green Practice consulting rooms on both floors will be at the LEFT side of the building and the Blue Practice consulting rooms on the right. The new waiting area will be smaller and have a fixed seating area. ALL patients MUST remember to ‘book-in’ at the reception desk on the 1 st floor and NOT go straight to the 2 nd floor, as this may cause you to miss or be late for your appointment. Hopefully all the work will be finished by end of April or beginning of May 2008.

Fundraiser – At our January Practice Learning Time we held a fundraiser lunch for St Columba’s. Dr Rodgers organised this and kindly brought in delicious homemade soups and bread, with team members giving donations in return for lunch! We raised £75 and hope to hold a similar event later in the year.

Practice website development - The practice web site was launched in 2002 and has received over 30,000 visitors in that time. The content of the site has been continually updated monthly but we feel its time to give the site bit of a face lift. So in the coming months the site will be go through some modernisation.

Patient Feedback - We would like to thank the patients who kindly completed our patient satisfaction questionnaire this year. The results and feedback are displayed in the waiting area at the front desk, on our plasma screen and on the practice website.

We have just had a new telephone system installed as planned, and we hope that this will improve call handling for patients phoning in to the practice.

Staff News

Huge Congratulations to DrKatherine Robertson, our GP Registrar, on passing the first 2 modules of her MRCGP exam at first attempt, and also on her recent engagement!

DrHayley Tait left the practice at the end of February having completed her GP training with us. She has taken up a post as GP Partner in a practice in Dunfermline. We will miss her and wish her all the best for the future.

Welcome to Lynn McSkimming who joins the Health Visiting team working alongside our Health Visitor Catherine Beveridge and Health Visitor assistant Sandie Simpkin.

Lynn has an extensive background in paediatric nursing having qualified in 1998 and going on to work in Paediatric Oncology / Haematology and Day Surgery.

Latterly she held post of Nurse Specialist in Cystic Fibrosis and has now decided to change career path towards primary care/community nursing - joining the team as a staff nurse with a view to undertaking the Health Visiting course in due course.


Public Holidays Health Centre Closed

Monday 5 th May 2008

For urgent medical attention please call
NHS24:- 08454 24 24 24

For Life threatening emergency call 999

Patient Information

Do You Want to Quit?

There are a number of ways in which smokers can access help quitting in our locality. You can refer yourself to the local NHS Stop Smoking service, currently based in a community centre in Pilton. Our contact there is Louise Wellington (number below) who can offer advice and support, and tailor recommended plans for the individual which may include medication via prescription from your GP.
Currently there is also an NHS funded Pharmacy Stop Smoking pilot, offered by local chemists listed below. The pharmacist offers weekly 1:1 sessions for up to 12 wks for patients, and they can issue Nicotine Replacement Therapy e.g. 1 month supply of nicotine patches at the cost of a prescription charge. Patients self-refer to the pharmacist.


There are dedicated Stop Smoking Facilitators for pregnant women and teenagers and the phone numbers are listed below. Nicotine Replacement Therapy is now licensed for use in these groups although it should be used in conjunction with support and follow-up.
Of course, the first stop can be an appointment with your GP and we are always happy to discuss smoking cessation with you, and to support smokers who are trying to give up.

Contacts and Further Information:

Louise Wellington – NHS Stop Smoking Service Lothian 0131 336 0979 Pharmacy Stop Smoking Scheme – up to 12 weeks 1:1 support and follow-up with trained pharmacist: nicotine replacement issued where appropriate. The following local pharmacies are participating:

  • Alliance (Comely Bank Rd)
  • Apple Pharmacy (Eyre Place)
  • Boots (Princes St, Shandwick Place)
  • Lindsay & Gilmour (NW Circus Place, Hillhouse Road, Crewe Road North)
  • Stop smoking help in Pregnancy – 0131 672 9532
  • Stop smoking help for Teenagers –0131 536 6247
  • Smokeline – 0800 848484

NHS Lothian Web Information web page giving information on strategies to stop, including a useful self-help manual to work through -“Smoke Free” - which gives multiple tips and practical advice on coping mechanisms, preventing relapse, alternative ways to deal with stress etc.

Why Quit Smoking?

We all know it – smoking is bad for us, and for those exposed to passive smoking. It remains the single biggest avoidable cause of death and disease – estimated in Lothian as 1,500 deaths and 9,000 hospital admissions a year as a result of smoking-related disease.
(May 05 ISD Scotland: Smoking “Ready Reckoner”)

Stopping smoking at any age:increases your life expectancy
After 1 year:cuts risk of heart attack by 50% compared to a smoker
After 10 years: cuts risk of lung cancer by 50% compared to a smoker

Studies show that most smokers would like to give up, and around 40% stop for at least a day in an attempt to quit each year. However most attempts fail - and many need assistance and encouragement to stop.

“Behavioural counselling” can help smokers deal with their habit and medication can help deal with the addiction. Research shows that attending a group or 1:1 sessions of Stop Smoking Support doubles the chances of stopping smoking. Medication may be used in conjunction with stop smoking support and can further increase the odds of successfully stopping smoking.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) can help reduce cravings and symptoms of nicotine withdrawal: it is available to buy over the counter or on prescription. Zyban and Champix are prescription-only drugs which act via receptors in the brain, and are not suitable for everyone, but may be useful in selected cases.