Thurso is a long established town with origins dating back to Viking times when it was an important Norse settlement, the major gateway to mainland Scotland. It later grew to become a market town and was noted for its trade with Scandinavian and Baltic ports from as early as the 14th century.
Thurso is the largest town in Caithness. Situated on the Pentland Firth in the beautiful sheltered Thurso Bay, it is the most northerly town on the Scottish mainland. The bay sweeps from Holborn Head in the west to Dunnet Head in the east. Thurso has a fine harbour and beach and looks out over the Firth to the Orkney Island of Hoy and the famous towering Old Man of Hoy. The dramatic north coast stretches away to the west, while inland is the vast area of blanket bog known as the 'Flow Country'. This is a truly beautiful part of the country offering an excellent work/life balance, with a very low crime rate.
Thurso’s visitor attractions include the Swanson Gallery and the glass blowing studio, Glass Creations. Situated on the shore of the Pentland Firth, it is also popular with surfing enthusiasts, who add a real splash of summer colour. Indeed Thurso has hosted the World Surfing Championships in recent times.
Thurso is well catered for from both an arts and sports point of view with fishing, golf and other outdoor pursuits available at low cost. For those who prefer indoor sport, Thurso has excellent facilities available including squash, badminton, a swimming pool and local gyms. The Lyth Arts Centre attracts companies on tour to provide music and plays and the most northerly mainland opera house is situated 25 miles from the town at Ackergill Tower. We are also only 20 minutes from the Castle of Mey visitor attraction. The Thurso Town Hall has recently been redeveloped into a high quality multi purpose community, visitor, information centre and museum known as Caithness Horizons (www.caithnesshorizons.co.uk).
We have an excellent comprehensive secondary school with three first class primary schools in town. A strong sense of community still prevails and children enjoy a sense of freedom sadly lacking in some other areas of the country.
There are numerous high quality eating places in the area serving local produce including the Captain’s Galley (an award winning seafood restaurant).
Halkirk is a village on the River Thurso. It is approximately six miles from the town of Thurso and is said by local people to be Scotland’s first planned village. It is a small farming village and is well catered for by local shops and amenities. Every summer up to 5,000 visitors and locals flock to the village for a day of traditional and spectacular Scottish sports at the Halkirk Highland Games one of the biggest such events in Scotland with athletes attending from all over the world. Another highly-anticipated event in Halkirk is the Northern Nashville Caithness Country Music Festival, staged over Easter weekend. Held in the Indoor Riding Centre – an important and popular local facility – this event too attracts visitors from around the globe.
For further information about property available in the area visit www.caithnessproperty.co.uk.
For further information about the area in general please visit the excellent, and award winning website at www.caithness.org.
Our practice has a steady population of around 6,200 patients with an interesting mix of town and country, the young and the old. We operate from two surgeries. The Princes Street Surgery is in Thurso and is situated close to the Dunbar Hospital (GP led community hospital). We are approximately 25 minutes from the Caithness General Hospital in Wick and just over 100 miles north of Inverness. Flight times from Wick to Aberdeen and Edinburgh are approximately 35 minutes and 1 hour respectively. Our dispensing practice is in Halkirk, and serves approximately 1,200 patients in total. Both surgeries are well equipped. It is a busy practice but offers plenty of scope for clinical experience and maintains a friendly and informal atmosphere.
We are a GMS practice and in addition to the nGMS essential/additional services, offer a wide selection of local, directed and national enhanced services. We have been high QOF achievers and have also scored highly in the national patient satisfaction survey.
The practice is paperlight, using the INPS clinical system (Vision), FrontDesk and Docman.
Consultations are by appointment at ten minute intervals. We offer a minimum of two GP surgeries (morning and afternoon) in our Thurso surgery with one surgery most days in Halkirk. We operate a Nurse Triage system to ensure patients get to see the most appropriate person as quickly as possible.
There is no on call requirement but opportunities do exist locally. We do however offer an early morning and evening surgery as part of our Extended Hours Enhanced Service.
THE PRACTICE TEAM
The Practice currently has three GP Partners and a Management Partner. The practice is strongly committed to education and the pursuit of personal and professional development. We have an extensive library with computer/internet access. We also have an onsite video conferencing facility in our large conference room which is used for both meetings and training purposes. The GP Partners special interests include: Training/Education, Women’s Health/Family Planning, Mental Health, Palliative Care and Minor Surgery.
Other members of our clinical team include an experienced Advanced Nurse Practitioner and Practice Nurses who carry out a wide range of treatment duties in addition to chronic disease management and Triage.
The Management Partner is responsible for the administration/management of the Practice and works closely with the NHS Highland Primary Care team. She has a particular interest in Finance, Information Technology and the political aspects of general practice.
We have a wide range of non clinical staff members including:
- Assistant Practice Manager
- Medical Records Officer
- Registration Officer
- Administration Officer
- 4 Receptionists/Administrators
We have an excellent extended primary health care team who also have a broad mix of skills and experience. Our Community Nurses are next door and have special interests in palliative care and wound management. We also have a visiting Physiotherapist on a weekly basis.