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When the surgery is very busy and appointments are not available, there are many other ways you can get help if you feel you need it. If you would like to help yourself first, or don't want to bother the doctor, or are worried about wasting an appointment, please consider:


Opticians are able to provide on-the-day telephone triage and appointments if necessary. They have better instruments for looking into eyes, and can refer to specialist services if they deem it necessary.

They will see

    • eye trauma - sticky eyes/ conjunctivitis

    • blurry vision - scratches

    • floaters            - dry eyes

    • flashing lights

Colinton Opticians at 56 Bridge Road Colinton have- on-the-day appointments 9am – 17:30 Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, and will arrange an appointment at another local optician if they think you really need seen. Call them on 0131 441 5441


Pharmacists in any local pharmacy run walk in appointments and offer advice on medicines that can help in many different problems. E.g.:

    • acne - eczema and allergies             - pain

    • athlete's foot - haemorrhoids (piles)  - period pain

    • backache - hay fever                       - thrush

    • cold sores - headache                      - sore throat

    • constipation - head lice                    - thread worms

    • cough - indigestion                          - warts

    • diarrhoea - mouth ulcers                 - verrucae

    • earache - nasal congestion              - conjunctivitis

 Consultations are free and private, and if they deem you need to see a doctor they can arrange for an appointment. You will have to pay for any medicine, but it is not usually too expensive. If you are younger than 16, older than 60, on certain benefits, or have one of many other exemption certificates, you can sign up to the NHS Minor Ailments Service to be eligible for any medicines needed for free. Just register with a pharmacy of your choice.

Pharmacies can also provide emergency contraception, smoking cessation services and repeat prescription services. A further service is their unscheduled care service, which allows them to provide an 8 week supply of routine medications to Scottish GP registered patients while on holiday in other parts of Scotland. Holiday-makers from other parts of the UK can receive a 5 day emergency supply, but are required to pay. Controlled drugs (morphine, tramadol etc) are excluded.

Colinton Pharmacy at 46A Bridge Road is open 09:00am – 5:45pm Monday to Friday, and 09:00am – 1:00pm Saturday. Call them on 0131 441 2352, or check out their website at

Extended Hours pharmacies are available for emergencies. Call NHS 111, or use the NHS pharmacy service to find other nearby pharmacies at


For tooth problems including severe tooth ache, broken teeth etc, a dentist is most appropriate. Many dentists keep emergency on the day appointments, and in Colinton this is provided by Colinton Dental Practice at 21 Bridge Road from 08:30 all days of the week. Call them on 0131 441 2999, or check out their website at

Please note that Colinton Surgery cannot provide antibiotics for dental conditions e.g. dental abscesses. You must see a dentist for this service.



NHS podiatry services are based at Podiatry Dept, Springwell House, 26 Ardmillan Terrace, Edinburgh, EH11 2JL. Contact them on 0131 537 7470 for a self referral form. They can provide

    • Biomechanical Assessment

    • Orthotic Devices and Insoles

    • Physical Therapies

    • Nail Surgery

    • Limited access to verrucae caustic and cryosurgery (NOT for children)

 Please note, corns, callouses, verrucas and warts are best dealt with by visiting the pharmacy for treatment. We can only provide extremely limited cryotherapy or other removal services at the Practice.


Most times these are due to an injury, or to wear and tear, and don't require to see the doctor. Excellent advice and exercises are available from There is also a very good smartphone app available free, called "NHS24 MSK help". Both these sources can off you advice on:  

Back - Hip   

    • Neck - Knee

    • Shoulder - Ankle

    • Elbow - Foot

    • Wrist, Hand, Finger


If the problem is persisting longer than six weeks, you may benefit from physiotherapy, so refer yourself by calling the NHS24 MSK Advice & Triage Service on 0800 917 9390 between 9am & 5 pm Mon-Fri.  In Colinton, there are also several private physiotherapists you may also wish to consult.


Audiologists are accessible if deemed necessary after GP or Practice Nurse review, but can also be accessed privately at The Edinburgh Clinic. Please consider a visit to the pharmacy first, for a course of wax softening ear drops.


Most minor injuries can also be dealt with at the Minor Injuries Clinic at the Western General Hospital on Crewe Road South. It has a walk in service, and is open between 8am and 9pm. It is staffed by specialist practitioners, and offers services for:

    • burns - bites

    • cuts - simple fractures

    • sprains - wound infections

    • and many others

If you want to check if your injury is suitable for treatment at the Minor Injuries Clinic, phone first on 0131 537 3481.



Advice on problems in pregnancy is also available from your midwife, once you have booked.


Your health visitor may be able to help you with many problems during childhood. For example

    • advice on immunisations

    • advice on pregnancy, parenting, feeding (including breast feeding), sleeping, crying and speech

    • support in post natal depression

    • family nutrition

    • family planning and well woman advice

Please contact your health visitor via the surgery reception.


The NHS has a very useful website with many high quality information leaflets at You can search for advice on your problem, watch videos, and learn about your medicines.


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