Links Medical Centre
4 Hermitage Place Leith Edinburgh EH6 8BW
Tel: 0131 554 1036
Out of Hours: 111
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We are about to role out the COVID Vaccination for patients aged over 80. We will contact you to arrange your appointments. Please do not contact the surgery

Text Messaging/Reminder Service
You can now register to receive information by text message on your phone regarding appointments and health care. 

If you wish to register for this messaging service please contact reception and a registration form will be sent out to you.   The completed form can be posted through our front door.

New Data Protection Regulations - May 2018 (GDPR)
Under the new data protection regulations introduced from 25th May 2018, we will continue to contact patients via text messages regarding the delivery of care if they have provided consent to do so.

If practices are sending messages about recommended treatment for the management of a specific health issue, then this is defined as providing appropriate care for patients, not marketing purposes.
If you would like ot opt out of any future contact via text messaging, then please complete the form and indicate in the marked section.

Rights and Responsibilities
Everyone has certain rights when using NHS services. You have the right to:
  • Receive treatment from a general practitioner*
  • Receive information on health services
  • Have your treatment explained to you
  • Refuse to be treated in front of students or to be involved in medical trials
  • Have a relative or friend with you
  • Have access to an interpreter or signer
  • Confidentiality at all times
  • Have access to emergency medical care
  • Complain without discrimination
  • Have access to contraceptive and maternity services
  • Receive treatment regardless of your race, gender, age, social class, religion, sexual orientation, appearance, disability or medical condition.


Your responsibilities
You can help yourself and health care staff by doing the following:

  • Be on time for your appointments
  • Tell the Surgery or clinic if you cannot keep an appointment
  • Tell your GP, or hospital you are attending, if you move home or change your telephone number
  • Use emergency services responsibly
  • Treat health care staff politely
  • Pass on your comments to health care staff

    Take care with medicines, do not use medicines which are out of date – your Pharmacist can safely dispose of these for you.
GP services
You have the right to be registered with a GP.  Ask your preferred Surgery if you can be registered on their list.

To change GP, ask to be registered at the Surgery you want to join.  Your health records will be transferred to your new GP.  You do not need to tell your current GP, but it is helpful if you do.

A GP can remove you from the Practice list at any time and does not have to give a reason. This is rare and usually only happens if a patient has been abusive or violent, or if you have moved outside the Practice area.  Your GP may also remove you from the practice list if you often miss appointments.  They will warn you before they do this.

You can get a list of GP's in your area from NHS Lothian Primary Care Organisation, Waverley Gate, 2-4 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh  EH1 3EG.  Telephone 0131 537 8423
Data Protection
Date Protection Notice
About NHS Lothian:
NHS Lothian is a public organisation created in Scotland under section 1 of the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978 (the 1978 Act). It is one of the organisations which form part of NHS Scotland (NHSS).

About the personal information we use
We use personal information on different groups of individuals including:
  • Patients
  • Staff
  • Complainants, enquirers
  • Survey respondents
  • Professional experts and consultants
  • Individuals captured by CCTV
The personal information we use includes information that identifies you like your name, address, date of birth and postcode.
We also use more sensitive types of personal information, including information about racial or ethnic origin; political opinions; religious or philosophical beliefs; trade union membership; genetic and biometric data, health; sex life or sexual orientation.
The information we use can relate to personal and family details; education, training and employment details; financial details; lifestyle and social circumstances; goods and services; visual images; details held in the patient record; responses to surveys.

Our purposes for using personal information
Under the 1978 Act NHS Lothian has the statutory responsibility to provide or arrange for the provision of a range of healthcare, health improvement and health protection services. We are given these tasks so that we can help to promote the improvement of the physical and mental health of the people of NHS Lothian and assist in operating a comprehensive and integrated national health service in Scotland.
We use personal information to enable us to provide healthcare services for patients (including reminding you of appointments), data matching under the national fraud initiative; research; supporting and managing our employees; maintaining our accounts and records and the use of CCTV systems for crime prevention.

Our legal basis for using personal information
NHS Lothian, as data controller, is required to have a legal basis when using personal information. NHS Lothian considers that performance of our tasks and functions are in the public interest. So when using personal information our legal basis is usually that its use is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest, or in the exercise of official authority vested in us.  In some situations we may rely on a different legal basis; for example, when we are using personal information to pay a supplier, our legal basis is that its use is necessary for the purposes of our legitimate interests as a buyer of goods and services. Another example would be for compliance with a legal obligation to which NHS Lothian is subject to, for example under the Public Health etc (Scotland) Act 2008 we are required to notify Health Protection Scotland when someone contracts a specific disease.
When we are using more sensitive types of personal information, including health information, our legal basis is usually that the use is necessary:
  • for the provision of health or social care or treatment or the management of health or social care systems and services; or
  • for reasons of public interest in the area of public health; or
  • for reasons of substantial public interest for aims that are proportionate and respect people’s rights, for example research; or
  • in order to protect the vital interests of an individual; or
  • for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims or in the case of a court order.
On rare occasions we may rely on your explicit consent as our legal basis for using your personal information. When we do this we will explain what it means, and the rights that are available, to you.  You should be aware that we will continue to ask for your consent for other things like taking part in a drug trial, or when you are having an operation. 

Who provides the personal information
When you do not provide information directly to us, we receive it from other individuals and organisations involved in the delivery of health and care services in Scotland. These include other NHS Boards and primary care contractors such as GPs, dentists, pharmacists and opticians; other public bodies e.g. Local Authorities and suppliers of goods and services. 

Sharing personal information with others
Depending on the situation, where necessary we will share appropriate, relevant and proportionate personal information in compliance with the law, with the following:
  • Our patients and their chosen representatives or carers
  • Staff
  • Current, past and potential employers
  • Healthcare social and welfare organisations
  • Suppliers, service providers, legal representatives
  • Auditors and audit bodies
  • Educators and examining bodies
  • Research organisations
  • People making an enquiry or complaint
  • Financial organisations
  • Professional bodies
  • Trade Unions
  • Business associates
  • Police forces.
  • Security organisations.
  • Central and local government.
  • Voluntary and charitable organisations.


Transferring personal information abroad
It is sometimes necessary to transfer personal health information overseas for example if you require urgent medical treatment abroad. When this is needed information may be transferred to countries or territories around the world. Any transfers made will be in full compliance with NHSScotland Information Security Policy.

Retention periods of the informaiton we hold
Within NHS Lothian we keep personal information as set out in the Scottish Government Records Management: NHS Code of Practice (Scotland) Version 2.1 January 2012. The NHS Code of Practice sets out minimum retention periods for information, including personal information, held in different types of records including personal health records and administrative records.  As directed by the Scottish Government in the Records Management Code of Practice, we maintain a retention schedule as part of our Records Management Policy detailing the minimum retention period for the information and procedures for the safe disposal of personal information.
How we protect personal information
We take care to ensure your personal information is only accessible to authorised people. Our staff have a legal and contractual duty to keep personal health information secure, and confidential. The following security measures are in place to protect personal information:
  • All staff undertake mandatory training in Data Protection and IT Security
  • Compliance with NHS Scotland Information Security Policy
  • Organisational policy and procedures on the safe handling of personal information
  • Access controls and audits of electronic systems   

Your rights
This section contains a description of your data protection rights within NHS Lothian

The right to be informed
NHS Lothian must explain how we use your personal information. We use a number of ways to communicate how personal information is used, including:  
  • This Data Protection Notice
  • Information leaflets
  • Discussions with staff providing your care
 The right of access
You have the right to access your own personal information.
This right includes making you aware of what information we hold along with the opportunity to satisfy you that we are using your information fairly and legally.

You have the right to obtain
Confirmation that your personal information is being held or used by us.
Access to your personal information. 
Additional information about how we use your personal information
Although we must provide this information free of charge, if your request is considered unfounded or excessive, or if you request the same information more than once, we may charge a reasonable fee.
If you would like to access your personal information, you can do this by submitting a written request.  Subject Access Request Forms (SARS) can be collect from Reception and then sent back to
Links Medical Centre
4 Hermitage Place
Telephone: 0131 554 1036
Once we have received your request and you have provided us with enough information for us to locate your personal information, we will respond to your request without delay, within one month (30 days). However If your request is complex we may take longer, by up to two months, to respond. If this is the case we will tell you and explain the reason for the delay.
The right to object
When NHS Lothian is processing your personal information for the purpose of the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority you have the right to object to the processing and also seek that further processing of your personal information is restricted. Provided NHS Lothian can demonstrate compelling legitimate grounds for processing your personal information, for instance; patient safety or for evidence to support legal claims, your right will not be upheld.

The right to complain
NHS Lothian employ a Data Protection Officer to check that we handle personal information in a way that meets data protection law. If you are unhappy with the way in which we use your personal information please tell our Data Protection Officer using the contact details below.

Data Protection Officer
NHS Lothian Waverley Gate
2-4 Waterloo Place
Edinburgh EH1 3EG
Tel – 0131 465 5444
Please note email from your private address may not be secure.

You also have the right to complain about how we use your personal information to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). Details about this are on their website at 

Zero Tolerance Policy
The NHS operate a zero tolerance policy with regard to violence and abuse and the practice has the right to remove violent patients from the list with immediate effect in order to safeguard practice staff, patients and other persons. Violence in this context includes actual or threatened physical violence or verbal abuse which leads to fear for a person’s safety. In this situation we will notify the patient in writing of their removal from the list and record in the patient’s medical records the fact of the removal and the circumstances leading to it.

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