The Varis Medical Practice

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

Measles cases increase by 300% globally

We have been informed by NHS Grampian that there has been a 300% increase globally in cases of measles in the first 3 months of this year. Also, they have advised that the uptake of MMR vaccine locally may not be sufficient to achieve herd immunity. Measles isn’t just a rash – it can have serious complications, such as ear infection, pneumonia, permanent deafness, encephalitis (brain swelling) or even death. Please see this helpful advice issues by NHS Lothian on how to recognise measles. If you are unsure if you have had, or are eligible for measles vaccination – please give us a call.

Use of Freestyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system in NHS Grampian- Position Statement October 2018

We have had some queries from Diabetic patients in relation to the Freestyle Libre system.

In summary Freestyle Libre system will only available to people with Type 1 Diabetes to help optimise their glycaemic control using intensive insulin therapy and who meet all 3 of following criteria

1 – Completion of appropriate education ( e.g DAFNE,TIM or DIANE or equivalent)

2 – Patients who are proficient in carbohydrate counting

3- Patients who utilise intensive insulin treatment involving multiple daily insulin injections or insulin pump therapy.

Further details can be accessed from the NHS Grampian link:—all-documents/NHSG_FreeStyleLibre.pdf

Please note that Freestyle Libre will not be offered to patients with Type 2 Diabetes treated with insulin at this moment, this position statement relates only to Type 1 Diabetes

Are you eligible for a free flu vaccination?

If you are in one of the categories listed below and have not yet had your flu vaccine – please contact the practice and make an appointment to have this done.

You are eligible to receive a flu vaccine if you are 65 years old or over on 31.03.19 (born on or before 31st March, 1954)

You are also eligible if you are an adult or child who suffers from a long-term medical condition such as:
Heart or respiratory disease
Obesity (BMI>40)
Kidney or Liver Disease
Lower immunity due to disease or treatment

You are also eligible if you are pregnant or if you are an unpaid carer for someone who could not manage without your help.

If you do not come under the above criteria, but still wish to have the flu vaccine, you may be able to have this done privately.  Please ask for further details.

Pre-school flu vaccinations  please ask  for details of separate clinic dates for this




CLAN Cancer Support in Forres Health & Care Centre

CLAN – Supporting local people affected by cancer.

Are you affected by cancer?

CLAN provides emotional support, sign-posting and information in the heart of your community across Moray and are now holding drop in sessions in Forres Health & Care Centre on 1st & 3rd Friday of each month from 1.30pm – 3.30pm.

CLAN Forres Poster


Not Sure Who To Turn To?

Sometimes it is difficult to know who to turn to when you have a health problem.  We have designed our own local version of the national campaign posters to help direct our patients to the most appropriate service in our area.  Our staff are trained in knowing which services exist and are happy to help you if you are unsure – please click on the link below:


SMS Text Messaging –

Varis Medical Practice are  introducing a text messaging service for appointment reminders and healthcare information for patients over the age of 16.  Please check that we have your mobile number.  We require a unique number for each patient.

Protected Learning Time Closures 2019

Varis Medical Practice will be closed from 1.30pm on the following days for Protected Learning Time:

  • Wednesday 22nd May, 2019
  • Wednesday 4th September, 2019
  • Wednesday 30th October, 2019
  • Wednesday 20th November, 2019

Cover will be provided by the Out of Hours Service. (Telephone Number 111 – the free to call number for Out of Hours)

Further dates will be added as and when we receive notification from NHS Grampian.

DNA and Late Patients Policy




It can sometimes be difficult to get a routine appointment with a GP or Nurse. In General Practice demand can be unpredictable, which cannot easily be remedied. One factor which makes this more difficult to overcome is missed routine appointments due to did not attends (DNAs), or patients being late for their appointments. Where patients’ have been declined routine appointments because appointments are fully booked, it is at best disappointing when one of those booked appointments is unused due to a DNA, and no contact has been made with the practice to cancel the appointment so that it can be released for others or telephones so late as to make it impossible to allocate the appointment to another patient.


What is a DNA?

A DNA occurs when an appointment is not attended and the patient has not contacted the Practice in advance to cancel it, or where the cancellation is so late as to make it impossible to allocate the appointment to another patient. The practice will code this DNA and this will prompt a retrospective check on the number of DNAs recorded against the individual.


DNA Policy Applicable to DNAs within a 12 month period


Where this is the first occasion, a code will be added to the patient’s medical record and the DNA counted in a monthly search.



Where this is the second occasion, a patient alert will be added to their record. When the patient makes a further appointment, they will be advised by the Receptionist that the practice is aware of their previous DNA and asked to confirm their intention to attend their next appointment.



Where a third DNA has occurred, the patient will receive a letter from the Practice Manager informing them of the details of their missed appointments and warning them that any further DNAs could lead to removal from the Practice List.  The Practice Manager will also update the Patient Alert.  When the patient gets in touch to make a further appointment, they will be advised by the Receptionist that they have been sent a letter regarding their DNAs and asked to confirm their intention to attend their next appointment.  They will also be informed that if they DNA this appointment then they may be removed from the Patient List.



The partnership will review the individual case and a decision will be taken with regards to the patient remaining at the practice. The practice will consider whether consistent failure to adhere to our DNA Policy constitutes a breakdown between the patient and the GP or whether there are extenuating circumstances, with consideration for an individual’s clinical risk, vulnerability and whether clinical assistance is required. If the partnership determines that the patient should be removed from the practice list, the patient shall be notified in writing (letter will also be copied to PSD).


Children’s DNAs

Where children DNA their appointment, the practice will attempt to discuss the DNA with the child’s parent(s) or guardian(s) in the first instance, to understand why the DNA has occurred.

Children’s DNAs will be managed in accordance with the DNA Policy above, with the exception of children with safeguarding concerns. If there are any safeguarding concerns the relevant health professional, school nurse or Health Visitor will be contacted upon the first DNA. If a child with safeguarding concerns has 3 DNAs a referral to Children’s Services may be considered.


Late Patients We understand that sometimes factors are outside of patients’ control, and these in turn could result in patients being late for their appointment or them being unable to attend their appointment.

We ask that when patients’ know that they are going to be late for their appointment; they make contact with us as soon as they can to inform us.  By contacting us if you are going to be late, we can confirm whether we may still be able to go ahead with your appointment (this will not be possible in all circumstances).

If a child is late for their appointment, and there is an expression that the matter cannot wait until the next available routine appointment, reception staff should pass a message through to the GP who the child was scheduled to see to ascertain if they are able to fit the child into their clinic (giving the reasons for the request).

Advice to patients before booking fitting of a IUD/IUS



When to book your fitting:

When having an IUD or IUS insertion, it is important to ensure that you are not pregnant.  If you are using Condoms, a Diaphragm, “natural methods” including Persona, or having Unprotected Sex, between the first day of your last period and the day of your fitting, you MUST abstain altogether from sexual intercourse.  These methods should not be used, no matter how careful you are.

This advice is necessary because we need to be certain that at the time the IUD or IUS is fitted, you are not in the very early stages of pregnancy nor are there any sperm in your body, which could result in a pregnancy.

If you are using a hormonal method (the Combined Contraceptive Pill, Progesterone-Only-Pill, injection method or implant), the IUD or IUS can be fitted at any convenient time, as long as you are not bleeding too heavily.

If you are having an IUD or IUS removed and a new one fitted, this can be done on any day except a day of heavy bleeding.  You should not have sexual intercourse for the seven days before the fitting (if using for contraceptive purposes).  This is to ensure that there is no sperm in your body that could result in a pregnancy, if it is not possible to fit a new device after the original one is removed.

The reception staff can book your appointment but cannot give contraceptive advice.  If you are not sure about when to book your appointment, or which contraceptive method to choose, please make an appointment to come and discuss this with a GP.

If you are having an IUS (Mirena) inserted, you will need a prescription beforehand.  You need to take this to the pharmacy, who will give you the IUS, and you will need to bring it with you to the appointment.  You do not need a prescription for any other type of IUD.


Do not skip a meal – it is best to have eaten prior to the fitting

Please write down and bring the start date of your last period to the fitting

It is sensible to take a “pain-killer” at least half an hour before the fitting, to reduce cramps afterwards eg.  Ibuprofen (nurofen) 400mg.

Please allow at least an hour for the appointment.  Although the procedure does not take this long, a few women feel faint afterwards and need time to recover.  It is recommended that you have someone you can contact by phone, who would be able to collect you, in case you feel unwell.

Do not bring small children or babies with you to the fitting, or alternatively please bring a friend with you who could take care of them outside the room.

Some sanitary protection may be required afterwards.  You may wish to bring your own sanitary towel or panty liner with you.  Tampons should not be used for the first three days after the fitting.

You should abstain from sexual intercourse for three days after the fitting (if used for contraceptive purposes).  If the IUD or IUS has been fitted after day 7 of your cycle, you should use another contraceptive method as well for the next seven days.