Highlands Surgery would like to invite you to join DoctorLink.

We have been looking at how we can improve access to Practice services; DoctorLink is our new online service where you can:

  • Access advice
  • Request appointments
  • Request Repeat Prescriptions
  • Request Fit/Sick Notes

Sign-up is simple and you can create an account here and download the app.

  • For all urgent appointments, we ask that you undertake a symptom assessment through DoctorLink.
  • The symptom assessment will ask you a number of questions to help to identify your problem.
  • The outcome of your assessment will direct you to the right treatment, whether emergency care, your GP, nurse or self-care.
  • If your outcome indicates that an appointment is required at your GP practice, you simply click on the “request an appointment” button.
  • Once the request has been submitted, you will then be contacted by the Practice Team, to arrange an appointment within the identified timeframe (as outlined in the outcome of your symptom checker). 

The information you provide will be shared with our clinical team (where appropriate) and will assist in providing robust information of your problem to the required clinical team member prior to your appointment.

Help desk support is available from 8am-5.30pm on 0300 111 6433 or via e-mail on [email protected]

Video Group Consultations

COVID-19 has required huge efforts to transform primary care. We are embracing this even further by introducing Video Group Consultations (VGCs).

Video group clinics allow primary care clinicians to provide continuity of care to their patients with long term health conditions.

Video group clinics are a way for any of the clinical primary care team (including the network team of social prescribers or pharmacists) to see people with a similar health or social issue for example asthma or high blood pressure. Group clinics can offer more time for people to talk about their concerns and learn how best to keep healthy during the COVID-19 outbreak. They can also be used for education/information sessions on health and social issues.

What are the benefits of video group clinics?

Video Group Clinics offer numerous benefits to patients with long term health conditions:

  • They can make people feel more relaxed and comfortable because they are discussing health and wellbeing issues with others who understand and can relate.
  • The shared discussions about managing medicines, emotional wellbeing and lifestyle factors can provide patients with opportunities to learn from others.
  • The discussions and shared experiences in the video group clinic help to build resilience and give patients confidence.
  • Video group clinics also offer wider benefits to patients, especially when resources are under pressure during the COVID19 crisis, and patients are understandably requiring lots of reassurance.

It should be noted that many GP practices around the country were already consulting with groups of people with long-term conditions like diabetes and asthma to deliver reviews and facilitate peer led support and learning. Evaluation has found routine delivery of group clinics reduces repetition, saves clinician time, and frees clinicians up for more complex clinical work.

Video group clinics last between 60 to 90 minutes and on average, 6-8 participants will take part in a session. They are led by a video group facilitator who supports people to introduce themselves, consent to participate and shares the group understandings. The clinician then joins the group and answers the questions that the group has come up with.  

Much of the evidence for the benefits of group consultations has come from the US and Australia who have been using group clinics (sometimes called shared medical appointments) for over 17 years.

If you have any questions about Video Group Clinics, please get in touch with us.

We are eager to start these soon looking in particular at:

  • Diabetes
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • COPD
  • Hypertension
  • Medication Reviews
  • Etc

We will be contacting patients to offer these styles of appointments but if you are keen to be involved earlier then we welcome you to contact us and we can arrange a group for your needs.