Surgery News


June 2017

Doctors on duty:

19th May - 16th June     Dr Nicole Shaer

17th June - 9th July       Dr Stephen Murray

10th July - 18th July      Dr Catherine Sutherland


You can now order prescriptions online at Orders preferred Monday and Tuesday AM.


October 2016

Flu vaccinations 2016-17:

Please attend for your annual flu vaccination if you fall into one of the groups below:

You are eligible to receive a free flu jab if you:

  *   are 65 years of age or over: You are eligible for the flu vaccine this year (2016-17) if you are aged 65 and over on March 31 2017 – that is, you were born on or before March 31 1952. So, if you are currently 64 but will be 65 on March 31 2017, you do qualify.

  *   are pregnant

  *   have certain medical conditions: diabetes, respiratory illness, neurological conditions, heart problems

  *   are very overweight

  *   are living in a long-stay residential care home or other long-stay care facility

  *   receive a carer's allowance, or you are the main carer for an elderly or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if you fall ill

  *   are a front-line health and social care worker.  It is your employer's responsibility to arrange vaccination for you.

  *   If in doubt, give us a call.

FLU DROP-IN CLINICS (no need to make an appointment)

Monday  3rd of October - 1pm - 3pm

Wednesday 5th of October - 10am - 12pm

Monday 10th of October - 1pm - 3pm

Wednesday 12th of October 10am - 12pm

The children's nasal flu vaccination sessions will be run separately at the school.


Nurse Lisa Lambert will be leaving us at the end of September: the team would like to thank her for her dedication during her time here, and wish her all the best for her new role in Accident and Emergency.

NHS Orkney have advertised in Scotland for a replacement but there has yet to be any response.  We have requested that the advertising campaign be extended to the rest of the UK, so that we can maximise our chances of recruiting a suitable candidate.  If you have friends or relatives who might be interested, please put them in touch with Nurse Helen.

In the meantime we are exploring how to most usefully use the nurse's hours, but there will be shortfalls when the nurse will not be available.


If you are unable to attend your appointment, please can you contact the surgery as soon as possible, so we can reallocate the appointment to someone else.


If you require a doctor or nurse during outside surgery hours please call the Balfour Hospital switchboard on 01856 888000. This is the most fail-safe method, and guarantees a prompt response. (Some patients have been contacting the nurses on their home numbers for non-urgent matters:  We would ask that out-of-hours calls are restricted to emergencies/urgent care using the above number).


May 2016

We would like to thank friends of the late Sir Peter Maxwell Davies or 'Max' as we all knew him for the very generous donation given to the Sanday Surgery Fund from the collection at his funeral.

March 2016

Sanday Slimmers - NHS Choices 12 week weight loss plan

We are now in Week 3 of the Sanday Slimmers with 10 people 'weighing in'. There have been some great successes already!

It's still not too late to come along. It is held every Wednesday at 1pm at the surgery. It's free, friendly and all information is kept confidential the only thing we are interested in is the amount of weight you've lost! We look forward to seeing you!

Lisa and Helen


January 2016

Keep Well Check!

Are you aged between 40-64 years old? And are not already diagnosed with a current long-term condition i.e. diabetes or high blood pressure, and not had a full health check in the last 5 years. The nurses would like to invite you to a keep well check. Within this check we would look at your blood pressure and pulse, cholesterol, blood sugar and general lifestyle. We have a booklet for you to keep, with details and explanation of your tests. Please call the surgery on 600221 to book an appointment on a Tuesday or Thursday morning.

Sanday Slimmers - NHS Choices 12 week weight loss plan

Have you enjoyed the festive season too much? Do you want to lose weight and get active? Then come along to Sanday Slimmer's held every Wednesday at 1pm for 12 weeks at the surgery - starting on the 13th of January. It's free, friendly and all information is kept confidential the only thing we are interested in is the amount of weight you've lost! We look forward to seeing you! Lisa and Helen.

Below is a little bit about our new nurse Lisa........


I am the new community Island nurse. Originally from a small village called Cheddleton in Staffordshire, I now currently live in Burness with my husband to be Patrick and our beautiful daughter Ola (you may have already had the pleasure in meeting). We have been coming to the island for holidays for the past 2 years and are renovating our house.
I've been a qualified nurse for 16 months. Before I qualified I was a Health Care Support Worker at the local hospital. I trained at Keele University Stoke-On-Trent. Prior to starting my job on Sanday I worked on the Acute Medical Unit dealing with acute illnesses and long-term conditions. During my training I've had the opportunity to work with wide range of areas such as accident and emergency, elderly care, community nursing care, district nursing, trauma and orthopaedics and acute cardiac care.

Ola keeps us busy now she is crawling about the house, but I love doing crafts such as sewing and going for walks on the many Sanday beaches.

I'm really enjoying my new role and I'm settling into island life well.

Lisa Howson
Community Island Nurse

December 2015

We would like to thank family and friends of the late Fred Tulloch of Leabrig for the very generous donation they gave to the Sanday Surgery Fund from the collection at his funeral.

Thanks must also go to family and friends of Ian Koster of Braeside for the very generous donation they gave to the fund from the collection at his funeral.

Dr's on Duty
Dr Simon Hamilton 23rd November – 14th December
Dr Stephen Murray 14th December – 6th January
Dr Neal Gillespie 6th January – 4th February

Our new Doctor Simon Hamilton has just started another stint with us; he would like to tell you a bit more about himself……..

Hello Everyone

I've been a doctor for 9 years now. I was trained in St Andrews/Manchester and completed my house jobs in Lancaster. Following this I spend 2 years working in trauma and anaesthetics in a Township in South Africa. After having my fill of gunshots, beatings and the sheer craziness of South Africa I decided to become a GP and completed my training in Kent. Following this there was another trip to central Africa and a completion of the Diploma in Tropical Medicine before starting my job in Sanday.

Currently I live in Berlin with my German girlfriend, whom i met in South Africa. I'm trying (rather unsuccessfully) to improve my German and adapt to quite a different type of life.

In order to keep myself busy I like to ride on my motorbike and do a variety of endurance events. I'm hoping to swim the channel with 3 friends this summer.

Overall my experience of working on Sanday has been fantastic so far and it's certainly an interesting place.  I look forward to getting to know everyone in the fullness of time.


October 2015


On 11 November 2015, Sanday Surgery will be merging with surgeries on Westray, Papa Westray, Stronsay, Eday, Rousay and Hoy to form a single GP practice, which will be known as the Orcades Practice.

Why is this happening? We want to share responsibility for some of our “behind the scenes” administrative work. This will free up more time for doctors, nurses and administrators to care for their patients, and encourage more collaboration between the practices and help us to continue to develop and offer a modern service. In particular, it should result in better support for Tina.

What will change for patients at Sanday Surgery? You are unlikely to notice any difference in how you receive your day-to-day care when the new practice is formed in November, and the ready availability of appointments will not be affected by the merger.

Your care will continue to be provided by our usual team of doctors, nurses and practice administrators based on Sanday. Behind the scenes, however, we will be working together with colleagues on other islands to improve the quality and safety of your care. For example:
• We will review your clinical records more often to make sure that the quality of your care meets Orkney and national standards. (NHS confidentiality regulations will still apply).
• We will ensure that you are kept informed of when routine check-ups, blood tests, screening tests and immunisations are due.
• We will develop evidence-based protocols to help doctors and nurses feel more confident in looking after patients with complex health problems and when
dealing with emergencies on the isles.

In future, working with colleagues on other islands could result in new services for our patients, for example:

• You may be able to receive advice and support from doctors and nurses on other islands who have specialist knowledge and skills relating to your particular health problem.
• You might be able to request prescriptions or book appointments by telephone or online at times of day when Sanday Surgery is closed.

Please contact the surgery on 01856 666221 or e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you require any additional information.


If possible could you try and order your repeat prescriptions on a Monday or a Tuesday morning between 8.45am – 11.00am. We would then be able to get them delivered to the chemist in Kirkwall on the Tuesday afternoon plane. They will be ready for collection from the surgery on the Friday morning. This will provide a quicker service for our patients. Thank you in advance.

Our new Doctor Neal Gillespie has just finished his first stint with us; he would like to tell you a bit more about himself……..

I left the army in May 2015, where I was the senior medical officer for a series of families practices both in the UK and overseas.  My main clinical interests are dermatology, asthma, minor surgery, travel medicine and trauma care. I am married to Sarah (also a GP), and have three boys aged 21, 15 and 13. When not on Sanday, I work as an expedition doctor and split my time between the Yorkshire Dales and Edinburgh.  I am a keen cyclist and mountaineer. I have really enjoyed my time in Sanday so far and look forward to meeting you all in due course.

September 2015

We would like to thank family and friends of the late Isabel Muir of Breckan for the very generous donation they gave to the Sanday Surgery Fund from the collection at her funeral.

Thanks very much to the Fair Fairies for their kind donation to the fund.

We are delighted to confirm that the Sanday Surgery have 3 permanent part time Dr's in place. They are Dr Neal Gillespie, Dr Simon Hamilton and Dr Nicole Shaer (she will start next March). They will all be working a rota system with Dr Stephen Murray.

Dr's on duty for September and October

Dr Stephen Murray - 25th of August - 7th of September

Dr Neal Gillespie - 7th of September - 28th of September

Dr Simon Hamilton - 28th of September - 19th October

Dr Neal Gillespie - 19th of October - 3rd of November

July 2015

Doctors on Duty for July and August...

29 June - 21 July, Dr Nicole Shaer
21 July - 6 August, Dr Stephen Murray
6 August - 25 August, Dr Simon Hamilton
25 August-7 September, Dr Stephen Murray

We would like to thank family and friends of the late James Wilson of Rowans for the very generous donation they gave to the Sanday Surgery Fund from the collection at his funeral.

Thank you to the Gardening Club for giving the garden at Flebister at tidy up - your hard work is much appreciated.

If you are between the ages of 40-64, we offer Keep Well Health Checks - please call the surgery to make an appointment with the nurse who will do some fasting blood tests and talk through your diet and lifestyle.

As I'm sure you are all aware, Dr Murray is now working part time. He has worked very hard for the last 5 years and has built up the practice into the smooth running machine it is now! We are delighted to say we have four doctors that will carry this on by doing a rota system. Please see above for the rota duty over the summer.

April 2015 

As many people will have heard I am due to retire from full time practice in the summer, though I hope to be in a position to be the regular fill in doc for Sanday when the next full time GP is away on leave or training. I took up the post 5 years ago not quite sure what I was letting myself in for going back to 24/7 duty, but have not regretted it for a moment. From the beginning Sanday folk were both welcoming and supportive to myself and Julia and we quickly settled in and made friends and found more to do than time to do it in. People here have also shown more patience than I perhaps deserve with lectures on changing their habits ! They have put up with my running late without a murmur and also with the occasional surgery cancelled due to an emergency and they have very seldom called in evenings or at weekends, unless there was a serious problem.

Professionally I have enjoyed the scope of the job - looking after all ages, dealing with some unusual situations [Sanday seems to specialise in these] , and working with the school and the fire, coastguard, ambulance and airfield personnel. A recent extension of this community aspect has been the recruitment and training of our team of responders who are increasing our capability to respond to a major emergency.

From one of my previous incarnations inspecting surgeries, I know how  lucky we all are to have Denise, Helen and Tina as the team at Flebister and working with them has been and is one of the highlights of my job.

Recruitment is hopefully taking place as you read this. Sylvia, Sandra, Tina and the development trust staff and many others pulled out the stops, at very short notice, to update the website, and Imogen also produced a stunning job specific leaflet that will be easily adapted in the future for other recruitment campaigns. The leaflet will be distributed to candidates in a folder, with leaflets on  heritage and natural history and also a copy of the Sanday DVD. The health board have also shown real commitment by purchasing a half page colour advert in the BMJ.

Very many thanks to all involved.

Stephen Murray