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February newsletter Posted on 31 Jan 2020









As you will be aware, a new strain of coronavirus has emerged in Wuhan the capital of Hubei province in China.


As of 27th January 2020 there have been 2,827 cases confirmed with 5,794 suspected cases and 81 deaths from pneumonia. There have been 44 cases in countries where infected people have travelled from China but there have been no deaths outside China and as yet no confirmed cases in the UK.


Symptoms start with a fever followed by a dry cough and shortness of breath. The earliest documented case was in early December 2019. It is known to be spread from person to person probably by droplet contact from coughing and sneezing and more worryingly seems to be infectious before symptoms start. The incubation period (the time between infection and symptoms developing) is about 14 days.


As often occurs, older people and those with chronic health problems, especially respiratory diseases such as COPD are most at risk of severe symptoms.


If anyone who has recently travelled to China becomes unwell with flu like symptoms THEY SHOULD REMAIN AT HOME AND CALL THE SURGERY OR THE OUT OF HOURS SERVICE (111) IF THE SURGERY IS CLOSED.


Further up to date information and advice can be found on the Health Protection Scotland website.




Dr Ben Ramasubbu


Dr Ramasubbu will be joining the practice as a GP Registrar from 5th February for 12 months. He is an experienced hospital doctor and will be learning General Practice at Nithsdale Rd and Merryvale surgeries. He is able to do surgeries, sign prescriptions and house calls. He will initially see fewer patients than the other doctors and may have to ask for advice from the more experienced GPs, but we are sure that he will be welcomed by all.


Assessing video consultations is a very important part of GP training. It is not restricted to GPs in training- it is often used by experienced GPs to assess and review their consultation skills. It is certainly one of the best methods of assessing how a doctor performs during a consultation.  Dr Ramasubbu will have frequent surgeries which will be video recorded for training purposes. The consultations will only be looked at by other doctors in the practice and will then be erased- they are NEVER kept. Physical examinations will never be recorded - it is only the dialogue and interaction between doctor and patient that is analysed. Other doctors in the practice will also have their consultations recorded from time to time- once again this is purely for training purposes. We will always let patients know when they are booking an appointment if it is a video surgery and if you do not wish to take part then you will be given a different appointment where possible.


We hope that you will not mind if your appointment is recorded- the best thing is to ignore the camera and pretend that it isn’t there!


On The Day Appointments


Both of our Nurse Practitioners Sister O Conner and Sister McKinlay have training and experience in the management of acute illnesses. If you have a problem which requires you to be seen on the day then you may be allocated an appointment with either a GP or one of our practice nurses. If the nurse feels that you need to see a GP then this will, of course, happen.


NEW ONLINE IMPROVEMENTS- appointment booking and text messaging


You can now book appointments in advance by visiting our website -This will be for appointments in advance and not on the day or emergency appointments. You can also order repeat prescriptions online although we do ask that you complete a quick consent form at the surgery to enable this. We will send a text message to remind you of your upcoming appointment. You can also cancel appointments using this service. It is obviously very important that we have up to date mobile numbers- if you have changed your number or wish to check that we have the right number please ask at reception.



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