Right person, in the right place, at the right time

We want to support your access to care and treatment that is appropriate for you and your needs. Please consider what the best options for your healthcare are, based on the urgency of your condition and nature of your ailment. We work in conjunction with other Primary Care providers such as Opticians and Pharmacists, who can deliver advice and treatment within the community, so make sure you get the right person, in the right place, at the right time.

On the day appointment availability

Patients present to the GP with a variety of problems; some fairly simple problems, such as a rash or sore throat, through to more complex conditions. For an initial visit, often it is not necessary to see a GP; indeed, to pass all of the simple ailments to a GP would waste valuable GP time.  Some illnesses are self limiting, for example, a cold should clear up in a week to 10 days and, unless there are other factors involved, it is not necessary to see your clinician.  Other minor illnesses can be alleviated with self help and advice/over the counter medication from a local pharmacy.

For other illnesses/conditions, those for which you feel that you really need to see a clinician,  a Nurse Practitioner or a Clinical Pharmacist is more than qualified to deal with most of them, referring anything more complex to the GP. As an example of such a system, if you present at A&E, it will be a non-Doctor clinician, usually a Nurse Practitioner, that conducts the triage to decide how urgent your case is and by whom you will be treated. 

The Advanced Practitioner team will deal with most of our house calls and all requests for ‘On the Day’ appointments; so, if you request an appointment for the same day it will be one of the Advanced Practitioners that deals with you initially. A Duty Doctor will manage the team and be on hand to review any patients that the Advanced Practitioner feels need to be seen by a GP.

We are making this change to our team to improve the service that we give to you, our patients. We hope that it will free up the GPs to spend more time with patients when that is needed, to review patients in a more robust manner, to give the GP more time to chase referrals and more time to liaise with other departments/organisations on behalf of their patients to manage their care; thus giving a safer, more efficient service. Many surgeries have adopted this approach already; it isn’t something new, just new to Cairn.  

Many of you will have seen our existing Practitioners, Gordon and Stuart, already  and know how good their service is;  however, if you have any concerns then please speak to your clinician the next time that you are at the practice or contact our Practice Manager.

Is your appointment for one of our Nursing Team?

Practice Nurses offer appointments for many different problems including management of chronic conditions such as asthma, coronary heart disease and diabetes; cervical smears; well woman/man checks; smoking cessation; cryotherapy treatment (wart clinic) and health promotion.

Health Care Assistants (HCA) Please make an appointment with the HCA for all routine blood tests, blood pressure monitoring, ECG, spirometry, height, weight and urine checks.


Have you asked your pharmacist?

Sore throats, earache, cold sores, urinary tract infections (UTI's)

NHS Pharmacy First Scotland allows community pharmacies to give people expert help for treating conditions such as sore throats, earache and cold sores, along with common clinical conditions such as urinary tract infections (UTI's). Pharmacy teams offers advice, treatment or referral to other healthcare teams if required. 

Do you have joint or muscular pain?


Have you spoken to an Optometrist?

If you have an eye problem, your local opticians (optometry practice) should always be the first place you go to for help. 

If your optometrist thinks it's clinically necessary you can still have your eyes examined for free at any time between primary eye examinations. These are called supplementary eye examinations.

Your optometrist might offer a supplementary eye examination if:

  • you have an emergency eye issue, for example a red or sticky eye, blurred or reduced vision, flashers and floaters or pain in or around your eye
  • they want to see you more often for the purposes of ongoing diagnosis or review of conditions such as glaucoma and ocular hypertension.

To find an optician in Inverness please click here:

JM MacDonald Opticians

01463 231 975

Optical Express Inverness

01463 248871

Hall & Fraser Opticians

01463 222866

Vision Express

01463 715 437


01463 241341

Boots Opticians

01463 713673

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