The Varis Medical Practice

Forres Health & Care Centre, Grantown Road, Forres, Moray, IV36 1JG

Information

Appointments

We run surgeries at various times from 8.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday. All consultations are by appointment. We have made some recent changes to our appointment system – we took on board patient feedback which indicated that patients would like to make appointments further ahead, and it is now possible to book routine appointments up to 4-6 weeks in advance. 

Our staff are trained in care navigation and will request details of your symptoms in order to ensure that you get the relevant advice, tests and treatment you need (by directing you to the most appropriate service, making sure you are seen by the most appropriate person and given the most appropriate appointment).  In some circumstances, it may be suitable for you to have a telephone consultation or a video consultation instead of a face-to-face appointment.

You may consult with any of the Doctors in the Practice, no matter which one you are registered with.  Although we will try to give you an appointment with your preferred doctor there will be times when this may not be possible and we ask for your co-operation. If you wish to make an appointment please use the Appointment Line Number 0345 337 1120.

Urgent Appointments

If you need to be seen more urgently, you may be given an appointment sooner than the next routine appointment or you may receive a call back from our Duty Team.  You may also be advised to attend the NHS Unscheduled Care Department.  This department is for urgent care services which cannot wait until the next routine appointment (some examples of this might be e.g. throat infection, urinary tract infection, shingles, minor injury, etc).   The Doctors will always respond to serious problems as soon as possible.  Please note that in the event of a life threatening emergency, you should always dial 999.

Cancellations

If you no longer need your appointment, please let us know so we can give it to someone else.  Please note that we now operate a text reminder service, whereby you will receive a text message to your mobile phone a day or two before your appointment.  This has the facility to text back CANCEL which will cancel your appointment if it is no longer required.  Please contact the practice to sign up for this facility.

Helping the doctor to run to time

Your appointment is for 10 minutes, which includes some time for the doctor to write in your medical record. There are limits to what we can deal with carefully in 10 minutes and we ask that you are mindful of this when considering what you bring to each appointment – if you have more than one problem or have complex problems you may be asked to book a further appointment. If you think you will need more time, you can discuss this with the receptionist as they may book you a double appointment when you call.

If the doctor is running late please be aware that there will be a good reason for this, such as an unexpected emergency. We thank you for waiting and trust that you will accept that the delay was unavoidable. 

Early Morning Surgeries

We provide a variety of early morning surgeries (with appointments from 7.30am – must be pre-booked).

GMed Out of Hours GP Medical Service

NHS boards have taken over responsibility for running the new out of hours medical services. This cover is provided from 6pm – 8am Monday to Friday, at weekends and during public holidays. NHS 24 handle all calls from patients during these times and refer the calls on to GPs or nurses as appropriate. You will speak to a call handler who will pass you to an NHS 24 nurse. He or she will either offer you advice over the phone or may arrange for a doctor to call you back. If you need to see a doctor or a nurse you will be asked to attend an out of hours centre (Dr Gray’s, Elgin) or if necessary a home visit will be arranged. If you are asked to attend the centre but have no transport, a mini-bus will be arranged to take you to and from the centre. To contact the out of hours service dial the new ‘Free to Call’ telephone number 111.

Triage Doctor

There is a Doctor available for emergencies and telephone consultations from 8am to 1pm Monday to Friday. You may be asked to leave your telephone number and the Triage Doctor will return your call. Please try to ensure that you are available to receive the Doctor’s call.

Repeat Prescriptions

Please do not telephone requests for repeat prescriptions – this can lead to mistakes. Repeat prescriptions are available on production of your repeat prescription slip, which may be obtained after discussion with your Doctor. Please either post or bring your slip to the Health Centre stating clearly which items you require and where you want to pick up your prescription.

Your prescription will be ready for collection in two working days from the Health Centre or the local Pharmacy of your choice. Alternatively you can hand your request slip into the Pharmacy. Your request will be delivered to the Health Centre and your prescription will be ready for collection at the Pharmacy in two working days.

Please do not run out of medication. We do monitor our prescribing and may ask you occasionally to make an appointment for review. Our Practice Pharmacist is happy to answer any questions.

Home Visits

For most patients, the health centre is the safest and most efficient environment for your consultation.  This is where we have the facilities available to carry out tests, examinations and treatment (e.g. blood tests, ecg, etc) and where we hold your electronic patient medical record.  Also, it is recognised that approximately 6 consultations can be carried out in the health centre in the time it takes to do a single home visit.  For these reasons, we ask all patients who are able to attend to be seen here whenever possible.  We also appreciate that sometimes a home visit is necessary, and these are the decision of the Duty Doctor.

Home visits may be a suitable contact in some circumstances, such as:

  • Patients who are housebound
  • Patients who appear seriously unwell and not able to manage the journey to the Practice
  • Patients who have a terminal illness

Babies and children should be seen at the health centre.  It is not harmful to take a child with a fever outside.  If you think that your child is unwell, please tell the reception staff so that they can ensure that your consultation with the doctor is not delayed.

If you think that a home visit may be required, please call the Practice before 10am.  The doctors ask the administrative staff to obtain some details regarding the request, such as:

  • Your name
  • Your address
  • Your contact number
  • A brief medical summary of the reason for the request

The administrative staff cannot give a time that the doctor will visit.  Normally, the Duty Doctor will give you a call back so that they can obtain further details which they will then use to prioritise work for the Practice.  Some problems can be dealt with through advice over the telephone and in some cases it may be more appropriate for the doctor to arrange a hospital attendance.

We sometimes find that patients or carers request a visit because they have no transport to attend the health centre.  Unfortunately, the Practice is not funded to provide a transport service.  It is the responsibility of the patient or their carer to arrange transport.  If you do not have a car then please ask a relative, friend or neighbour to take you, or book a taxi.

Test Results

Test results can be obtained over the phone between 2pm – 4pm on 0345 337 1120 .

The staff can only give results after they have been checked by the Doctor. For confidentiality reasons the staff will only give your results and not those of friends or relatives.

Changing Your Name or Address

Please either visit or telephone the Health Centre to change your details as soon as possible. It is important that your Doctor has the correct information.

You can also change your details online using our change of details form.

Registering with the Practice

Please visit the Health Centre during normal working hours 8am – 6pm Mon to Friday and tell the receptionist you would like to register. If you have your medical card, please bring it with you. We require photographic evidence as proof of identification (eg passport or photo driving licence) together with one proof of your IV36 address (eg utility bill, bank statement etc). If you are registering your baby, please bring the form from the Registrar. The receptionist will check your registration form to ensure that you have given us all the information required to complete the registration process.

Freedom of Information Contact Details

Our practice has formally adopted the British Medical Association Model Publication Scheme for General Practitioners in Scotland and for all enquiries relating to practice information which is contained in this scheme please contact:
Mrs Shona Green
Operations Manager
Varis Medical Practice
Forres Health & Care Centre
Grantown Road
Forres
IV36 1JG
Tel: 0345 337 1120
Fax: 01309 678870

Suggestions and Complaints

We welcome any suggestions or comments you may have regarding our service.  Please address these to the Practice Manager.

You can make your complaint in person, by phone, by e-mail or in writing.

In line NHS Scotland, we have a two stage complaints procedure.  We will always try to deal with your complaint quickly but, if it is clear that the matter will need a detailed investigation, we will tell you and keep you updated on our progress.

Contact Details:

Complaints Officer
Varis Medical Practice
Forres Health & Care Centre
Grantown Road
Forres
IV36 1JG

Tel:  0345 337 1120

E-mail  [email protected]

Stage one – early, local resolution

We will always try to resolve your complaint quickly, within five working days if we can.  If you are dissatisfied with our response, you can ask us to consider your complaint at stage two.

Stage two – Investigation

We will look at your complaint at this stage if you are dissatisfied with our response at stage one.  We also look at some complaints immediately at this stage, if it is clear that they are complex or need detailed investigation.  We will acknowledge your complaint within three working days.  We will give you our decision as soon as possible.  This will be after no more than 20 working days unless there is clearly a good reason for needing more time.

Scottish Public Services Ombudsman

If, after receiving our final decision on our complaint, you remain dissatisfied with our decision or the way we have handled your complaint, you can ask the SPSO to consider it.  We will tell you how to do this when we send you our final decision.

Rights and Responsibilities

Rights

  • You have the right to receive health care on the basis of clinical need, regardless of your income.
    Everyone has the same right to equal treatment by the NHS, regardless of race, gender, age or disability.
  • You have the right to be given a clear explanation of what is wrong with you, and of any treatment proposed, including risks and alternatives. You also have the right to give or withhold consent to medical treatment.
    It is important that you should feel free to ask questions about your care and your treatment from any person involved. You can take a friend or relative with you to help get an explanation.
  • You have the right to have access to your health records and to know that those working in the NHS are under a legal duty to keep the contents confidential.
  • You have the right to choose whether or not you wish to be examined or treated by a medical student and to choose whether or not to take part in medical trials.
    You should always be asked in advance about medical students or medical research. You have the right to refuse to have a medical student present. If you agree to this, you are still free to ask them to leave at any time.
  • You have the right to have any complaint about NHS services investigated and to receive a full and prompt written reply.

Responsibilities

  • Please keep appointments. If you are unable to keep an appointment please inform the surgery as soon as possible. Please arrive on time.
  • Please ensure that your address is correct. If you change your address please inform the surgery.
  • Please treat all healthcare staff in a reasonable and courteous manner.
  • Please use emergency services in a responsible manner.
    You should use the out-of-hours services for emergencies only and not for routine care which should be dealt with during normal working hours.
  • Please take care with medicines
    Medicines are for one person only and should not be shared. Keep them safely away from children and in the original container so that the instructions are clear to you. Your pharmacy can dispose of unwanted medicines for you.

Privacy-Social Media Advice

Please respect the privacy and dignity of others and do not film, record, take photographs within the health centre site without consent.  Similarly please do not make comments about patients, visitors or staff on social media without consent. 

We welcome feedback and would ask that you get in touch with us directly if you have concerns about any aspect of your care, so that these can be responded to on an individual basis.

Violence & Aggression

VARIS MEDICAL PRACTICE – ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY

We aim to treat all patients courteously and with respect and we ask that patients treat our staff the same way in return.

Varis Medical Practice support the NHS Zero Tolerance policy in relation to violent and abusive behaviour. This includes:

• Shouting at staff (in person or over the telephone)
• Being aggressive to staff (in person, via email or over the telephone)
• Making derogatory or abusive comments on any form of social media
• Entering the clinical corridor in pursuit of a clinician without an appointment
• Behaviour which raises alarm with other patients in the Waiting Room
• Causing damage to premises or property

Such behaviour could lead to Police involvement and/or removal from the practice list and being asked to register elsewhere.

Data Protection / Privacy

NHS health care records may be electronic, on paper or a mixture of both, and we use a combination of working practices and technology to ensure that your information is kept confidential and secure.  Please see the attached Privacy Notice for further details: