Message to all visitors to the island from Tiree Medical Practice
Would accommodation providers please consider making a copy of this information available to their visitors.
We are happy to see the return of summer temporary residents and regular holiday visitors to the island, and we welcome holidaymakers visiting Tiree for the first time. Whichever applies to you; either welcome or welcome back. During this exceptional time, we felt it would be useful to outline the medical services available to visitors to Tiree and relevant information in relation to COVID-19.
Our core activity at the practice is the provision of GP services to the resident population of the island, who are registered with us. We do however see temporary residents with new and urgent issues, and we offer them the same urgent care which we provide to our own patients. This does not however, include investigation of longstanding problems. Neither does it include follow up on investigations already undertaken by your own GP or hospital specialist. We are not able to carry out blood tests, refer for scans and Xrays or refer to hospital specialists for anyone others than those who are permanently registered with us. If we see you with an new and urgent problem which does need such follow up or further investigation, you will be asked to see your own GP on your return home. If you have a medical problem whilst on the island and are unsure if it constitutes an urgent issue, do please contact us and we are happy to advise.
We have a dispensary within the surgery which carry’s a small stock, sufficient for our own patient’s needs. We can and will prescribe and dispense new medications for temporary patients, in relation to new problems arising during your visit. We are not however able to keep either the quantity nor the range of medications one would expect from a large pharmacy on the mainland, and we would ask all visitors, including longer term visitors, to please ensure that they have sufficient of their own regular medication with them for the duration of their trip. If you are on the island for an extended period, this will include either bringing a larger supply from you own GP or making your own arrangements for more to be sent to you. This should include sufficient to cover for an unexpected delay, due to transport problems or to COVID-19 related issues, which is discussed below. Simple pain killers and antihistamines can be obtained from the COOP without a prescription.
If you develop symptoms of Covid-19 on the island, you will be required to follow the government advice on the NHS Inform website, a link to which can be found at the bottom of this article. Please note that the advice does not vary from that on the mainland, and includes a requirement that you and your household self isolate if someone has symptoms. This includes not using public transport, and please note that all transport routes off the island are public. If you find yourself needing to remain in your accommodation in order to self isolate on Tiree, the Medical Practice cannot organise this for you. It will be a matter for you to negotiate with your accommodation provider or an alternative provider. We offer testing for anyone with symptoms of COVID-19, though the result is likely to take longer than it would on the mainland, due to the time taken in air freight and courier transfer to the lab. We would ask anyone with symptoms to please contact us, and we will arrange a test. We would also ask you to inform Test and Protect, whose contact details can be found at the link below, or you can call them on 0800 028 2816. We do not offer testing for the purposes of either holiday or work related travel. In such circumstances, testing is offered privately by some providers, but we cannot direct you to these. Please do not contact the surgery requesting a COVID-19 test unless you have symptoms, or have been directed by Test and Protect to speak to us.
We are still in the process of vaccinating our population. We are vaccinating as rapidly as the arrival of vaccine supplies permits. We are at this time unable to offer vaccinations to holiday makers and unregistered part time residents. If you are in either of these groups, please do not contact the surgery asking to be vaccinated. If you are a registered patient, our Practice Nurse Cairin will contact you when you are due. Please understand that the prioritisation for vaccination is a matter of national health policy and we are unable to change these policies or make exceptions.
Finally, please be aware that the public spaces on the island are small, and are likely to be very busy once the season is fully underway. Please be patient is such spaces, and help us to maintain the excellent levels of social distancing that the island has practiced, in order to keep it’s self safe throughout the pandemic. We wish you a very safe and enjoyable visit.
Tiree Medical Practice Team
Link to NHS Inform
Telephone access to Test and protect for those without web access
0800 028 2816