Dear All,


You may have seen on the BBC News this morning that our Chief Medical Officer has announced that community testing for COVID-19 will be happening in GP surgeries in Scotland. You need to know that this information is unhelpful at this time. GPs are only learning about this at the same time via the same article; we have NOT been given testing kits, Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), guidance on who to test or how to safely test you. PLEASE DO NOT PHONE ASKING TO BE TESTED. We will let you know when procedures are in place for this. We currently fear without the correct procedures in place that seeking a test at the surgery, which is then negative, will have put you at risk of getting the virus. If positive then vulnerable patients will potentially be exposed a to the virus and have worst outcomes than a mild flu like illness. If you are healthy or mildly ill, it is not in your interest or anybody else’s to provide the Scottish Government with statistics whilst spreading illness.

What we need to do, to protect you and the ability of hospitals and GPs to look after you, is “flatten the curve”. This can be hard to understand, but here are some excellent resources that we think you should watch. The first is a relatively technical simulation from the Washington Post, demonstrating the differences depending on how adherent we all are to social distancing:

This video is excellent and very easy to understand, and reflects on the Spanish Flu pandemic and relates it to our current situation. We are in Phase 2 now, to be clear:

Please, be responsible. We ALL need to do the right thing to get through this.

To answer a query left by a patient this morning; if you are on an immunosuppressive medication such as Methotrexate, we are happy to relax the interval for blood tests as long as you lower your threshold for stopping taking it at the first sign of cough or fever. Regarding those of you getting INR tests for warfarin, you will need to call the INR clinic – we are afraid we can’t speak for them. They will advise you regarding any relaxing of test intervals.

The pictures for this post are reminders of:

  • What to do if you get relevant symptoms
  • When to call us
  • The “going for gold” diagram of best outcome for all
  • Thinking how this is going to impact on the kids. You might not understand all this – we certainly don’t – think how it is for them.

For helpful advice regarding self-isolation, please go to:

Disclosure: this PDF was created by another GP and has been tweaked for Clarkston Medical – no point reinventing the wheel, we are busy enough already!

We will keep you informed of all developments, including testing.

Best wishes, stay safe.

All at Clarkston Medical