Brora and Helmsdale Medical Practice was formed by the merger of the two village practices in 2003. The practice premesis are owned by NHS Highland.
We are a rural & remote practice serving 2,500 people of all ages, covering a large geographical area of East Sutherland. This is a beautiful rural county in Scotland that has one of the lowest population densities in Western Europe. Our patients primarily live in the main settlements of Brora, Helmsdale and Golspie, but we have a significant number who live in sparsely-populated crofting settlements and farms along Strath Brora and Strath Kildonan. It can take our GPs over an hour to reach some of our most outlying patients on home visits.
In addition to providing comprehensive primary health care to our patients, our GPs also help to run the community hospital and minor injuries unit at the Lawson Memorial Hospital each week.
We are proud to serve our patients and be an integral part of the community. Our aim is to provide accessible, high-quality primary care to our patients in an NHS that continues to be free at the point of provision for all. We, however, can only achieve that aim by working in partnership with our patients, community, hospital and social services. That means us trying to do our best to help you, but also for patients to do their best to access services responsibly. We look forward to working with you to achieve those aims.
Without high quality, committed staff our service would not function effectively. We feel honoured to have the team working for us who manage to do a difficult job at times with good humour and a strong sense of camaraderie Here you can find out some more about our team members:
Dr Anthony Doherty MBChB BSc Dip.Derm. MRCGP
Tony joined the practice in May 2010. He qualified in Edinburgh in 1995, and worked in the UK and Queensland, Australia, in a wide variety of hospital posts until he settled in Inverness and completed his GP training in 2001. Prior to joining the practice he worked as a sessional GP for 9 years in Caithness and East Sutherland. He has developed an interest in medical photography and skin disease, having completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Dermatology from Cardiff University in 2010. Tony is trained as a BASICS emergency response GP and works for the out of hours GP service at the Lawson Hopsital, Golspie. Ouside of medicine he enjoys ski-ing, cycling and running.
Dr Mary Claydon MBBCh BSc DCH DFSRH DipMM MRCGP
Mary joined the practice in August 2010. Originally from Yorkshire, she studied in Wales qualifying from Cardiff University in 2004. Undertook GP training mainly in Wales with some time worked in New Zealand. She has worked in many Highland practices as a rural fellow. Her clinical interests include sexual health, family planning and mountain / expedition medicine. Mary is trained as a BASICS Scotland emergency response GP. She undertakes minor surgery, implanon and coil fitting. In her spare time Mary enjoys climbing, biking and running.
Dr Janet Nicoll MBChB Dip Tropical Med.
Janet qualified in Edinburgh in 1988. For eight years she was a partner in a GP practice in Livingston and for the last eight has been working as a regular locum and OOH doctor mainly in Caithness and East Sutherland. She studied tropical medicine before spending a year as a doctor in Uganda in 2001 and is involved in the practice travel health clinic and diabetes care programme. She now lives o'wer the Ord in Caithness and enjoys gardening and various sports including sailing in the Pentland Firth.
Dr Fiona Neal MB ChB MRCGP
Qualified in Aberdeen in 2005 and undertook GP training in, and around, Aberdeen. Spent a year as a rural fellow, working in many of the GP practices within Sutherland and provides occasional OOH weeknd cover for North-West Sutherland. Qualified BASICS emergency response GP. Outside of work enjoys many sports and activites including skiing, running and hillwalking.
Practice nursing support staff
Our nurses and Healthcare assistant (HCA) undertake the majority of our blood taking, ECGs, spirometry, chronic disease managment clinics and wound care management. Our practice nurses will also shortly take over all childhood immunisations after appropriate training to free up GP time to see sick patients.
Joan Gunn, RGN
Joan joined us in 2004 and mainly runs our nurse-led clinics on weekdays in Brora and Helmsdale Medical Practices.
Liz Bruce (HCA)
Training as a Health Care Assistant to improve access to nursing support. She is attending accredited training courses for this at Raigmore and Wick Hospitals. Liz now undetakes blood taking, performing ECG's, taking blood pressure and analysing urine for the practice, and will shortly expand her skills to include spirometry to free up GP and nursing time for more complex clinical skills.
Margaret took on the role of our practice manager (probably the hardest job in the practice) after a long career in banking in January 2008. She is interested in staff management, oversees our finances and developing the practice.
Reception and Administration Staff
We are fortunate to have the following members of staff working for us in our reception administration teams; without their help the smooth running of the practice would be difficult to achieve:
Lynne Murray - IT manager and receptionist
Angela Macdonald - Office manager and receptionist
Denise Macdonald - receptionist
Sharon Fennell - receptionist
Anita Mackay - receptionist
Liz Bruce -receptionist and Health Care Assistant
NHS Highland Health Professionals we work alongside
The following staff do not work for us, but we spend a lot of time working alongside them as professionals in their own areas in the primary health care team, and their support and advice is invaluable:
District nursing/community midwifery team
Janice Macrae (District Nurse)
Donna Macbeath (District Nurse/Community Midwife)
Caroline Cowie (District Nurse)
Annabel Murray (District Enrolled Nurse)
Health Visitor/Public Health Nurse/School Nursing team
Louise Richardson (Health Visitor and public health nurse)
Joy Wonderly (Early Years/Surestart Careworker)
Community Psychiatric Nursing (CPN)Team
Sam Brightwell (CPN Adult Mental Health)
Belinda McCullough(CPN Older People Mental Health)
Des Gallagher (CPN Alcohol and Drug Misuse)
Diabetes Nurse Specialist
Diane Beck (Community Diabetes Nurse Specialist)
Macmillan Nurse (Palliative Care Nurse Specialist)