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Speaking to a Doctor

The Practice uses an appointment system called "Patient Access". Instead of booking an appointment to see a Doctor, we will ask the Doctor to call you back to discuss the care that you need. Usually your problem will be dealt with that day, assuming this is convenient for you, or you may be asked to come in at a later time if the Doctor feels that appropriate.

How does it work?

When you contact the Practice to speak to a doctor, the Patient Care Advisor (PCA) will ask which Doctor(s) you normally deal with and if your call is in relation to a new or exsisting health issue or concern.

The Patient Care Advisor (PCA) will ask for a brief description of the problem – this is very helpful for the medical staff and our Patient Care Advisor (PCA) team are fully trained to triage your call appropriately.  All staff that work for NHS Lothian are bound by the same confidentiality laws as your GP, so any information you give is strictly confidential. If you would rather not say what the problem is to the Patient Care Advisor (PCA), that is okay.

The Doctor will then phone you back and will work with you to help address the problem. Often this will mean seeing you at the Health Centre but many things can be dealt with on the phone, e.g. medication reviews.

Please check we have the correct phone number for you!

Why can't I just always book an appointment?

Many patients struggled to see their Doctor under the traditional appointment system.  We can deal with many more problems and help more people with Patient Access.

Recently we have introduced a new system where if appropriate we can arrange an appointment for the Doctor to see you on the day or later than week depending on the type of health issue or question you want to discuss.

Which doctor should I see?

steth_pills_diaryFor administrative reasons all Patients have a registered Doctor on their medical card.

However, you may consult any of the GPs in the Practice, and if a Patient Care Advisor (PCA) asks you, "Who is your doctor?" give the name of the doctor you usually see - if there is one.

Trying to build a relationship with the same doctor or doctors may be helpful in ensuring safe care for someone with long-term conditions.


Where will I be seen?

The Practice is based at the Wester Hailes Healthy Living Centre, 30 Harvesters Way.



Please tell the Patient Care Advisor (PCA) if you need to see the Doctor urgently.  We operate a daily Duty Doctor and Triage Nurse service to deal with emergencies.



Wester Hailes Healthy Living Centre is a purpose-built facility with appropriate disabled access.


Practice Nurses and Treatment Room

Often a problem is more appropriately reviewed by our Practice Nurses/Nurse Practitioners or Treatment Room, rather than a Doctor.  Practice nurses are qualified to deal with many ailments and will refer to the Doctor if needed. Our Patient Care Advisor (PCA) team can also help advise if a Nurse appointment may be more appropriate.



If you cannot attend an appointment for any reason please inform us as soon as possible in order for us to offer the appointment slot to someone else.

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