CLOSED (Tele: 260 9227)

Patient Services Information

Out-of-Hours Co-op NEEDS

From September NHS 24 will take over handling the calls for NEEDS. The trained operators will deal with all calls giving medical advice or passing the call on to a healthcare professional or doctor.
From October NEEDS will be replaced by a new service: Lothian Unscheduled Care Service (LUCS). This will operate in conjunction with NHS24 and patients can access the service in the usual way, by telephoning our practice number (0131 260 9227) where a message will give details on how to contact LUCS.

Are You A Carer?

The Carers (recognition and services) Act gives carers the right to assessment of and provision for their needs by statutory agencies such as the NHS.
The Green Practice is currently implementing the Carers’ Standards in the new GP contract by developing a protocol to identify carers and ensure that they receive appropriate advice, support, benefits and services.
An Information for Carers folder including details of the Carers’ Development Worker, Vocal (Voice of Carers Across Lothian), carers’ support groups, welfare rights and residential care is available at reception.


It may have appeared recently that everyone working in the Practice Team is glued to their computer screen to a greater degree than usual. The simple explanation for this is that we have become a paperlight practice, so that all records, letters and results for patients are held on computer. We still hold the paper records in the practice because only information generated after 1 February 2004 is scanned into the computer. This represents quite a change in the way we work, but has gone remarkably well to date. We see this development as an inevitable progression as more information is handled electronically within the NHS. It should lead to improvements in communication and record legibility, and patient care generally, as all important details are now available instantly on screen.

New Building

You may be aware that for years now we have been engaged in discussions and planning concerning a new building for our health centre. A patient focus group was formed to discuss service provision within any new building, and we appreciate everyone’s helpful input during discussions. Sadly, it became clear when the new GP contract was implemented this year that funding which we had been assured would be provided for the new development was suddenly ‘frozen’, and we were advised that we would have to compete with other potential developments for priority ranking.
At present we have been assigned low priority, and have raised strong objections to this decision. Our Health Centre has serious overcrowding problems, and we require more space in modern premises to deliver the high level of service provision that our patients deserve. We have written to Malcolm Chisholm, our local MSP, to raise our concern that funding has been withdrawn, and await his response. We hope that the situation will change, and that our plans, which have involved a great deal of time and effort over the years will still go ahead.


Summer/Autumn 2004

Staff Roles:

Healthcare Assistant (HCA)

Hi – my name is Linda McMillan, I joined the Green Practice in May 2004 as their Healthcare Assistant (HCA). I was previously employed as a receptionist at Ferniehill Surgery for 17 years, where I did my training as a Phlebotomist. I enjoyed the one-to-one patient care and this prompted me to apply for the position here.
The HCA is a new post within the practice and part of the Practice Nurse Team. The job entails phlebotomy (taking blood), new patient health checks, assisting doctors with minor surgery and stock ordering. The post is still developing and I hope to be doing elderly patient checks and helping with smoking cessation in the near future.

Clinical Issues

Holidays and Sexually Transmitted Infections

Unprotected casual sex on holiday can put you at increased risk of contacting a sexually transmitted infection (STI). There are 25 different types of STI and Hepatitis B is the only one for which there is a vaccine available. Symptoms can vary from infection to infection and many STIs have no symptoms at all but the most common signs are:

  • Unusual discharge or liquid from the vagina or penis
  • Pain or burning when you pass urine
  • Itches, rashes, lumps or blisters around the genitals or anus
  • Pain and/or bleeding during sex
  • Bleeding after sex and/or between periods.
It is therefore very important that travellers are aware that a person infected with an STI including HIV and Hepatitis B+C may appear to be perfectly health and may not know they are infected.
Most STIs can be completely cured if found early and may only require a course of antibiotics. However if left untreated infections such as chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis can cause permanent damage to your health and fertility. Using a condom correctly and consistently when you have sex will prevent the transmission of most STIs including HIV. Free condoms area available from the Practice Nurse, the Family Planning Clinic at Dean Terrace and GUM clinics. For further information: and


To Drs Rodgers and Parker who were awarded Fellowship of the Royal College of General Practitioners following their recent assessment.

Also to Miriam, our Practice Nurse student, who has secured her first post at Muirhouse surgery following a year studying with Pauline, our Lead Nurse.

Rebecca , born 29 April 2004, latest addition to Dr Morag Reid’s family.