Coronavirus FAQs 

(frequently asked questions)

Can I come to the surgery to collect something or make an appointment?

If you need an appointment please use our new eConsult service or ring the surgery on 01303 851411.  We will not be admitting patients to the reception/waiting room area without an appointment or prior arrangement.

Please do not come to the surgery in person unless you have been booked in for an appointment.  If you have an appointment and then you, or someone in your household, develops symptoms (new cough or temperature of 37.8 or above) then please CANCEL your appointment and let the surgery know that you are unable to attend due to the need to self-isolate.  Please note that prescriptions will be sent to your nominated pharmacy for you to collect so please make sure you make your pharmacy choice clear when you request your prescription.  If you need urgent medical attention while self-isolating the doctor or nurse will assess your condition over the phone and may then ask you to attend at a different time/location to keep you isolated from other patients and staff. 

If you have requested a sick note or the doctor has asked you to have a blood test done, please note that we can send the sick note or blood test form out to you via text message attachment or post.  If you do need to collect something urgently from the surgery please note that you will need to speak to reception via the intercom at the front door.

How do I order my repeat prescription/medication?

You can request your repeat prescription/medication via your pharmacy, using an online service such as the NHS app, by putting a request in the post or by putting a request slip or note in our Prescription box which is now in the doorway of the surgery.  See the Prescriptions page for more information.

How do I request a sick note?

If you need a self-isolation note for suspected coronavirus please go to the NHS Covid-19 website

If you need a sick note for a new problem please ring the surgery and ask for a telephone call with a doctor or nurse.  The receptionist will ask for some details about your medical condition so that they can ask the most suitable person to call you back.  You can also use our new eConsult service to contact the surgery online about your medical problem.

If you need a sick note for an ongoing problem please ring the surgery and let the receptionist know that you need an ongoing sick note.  The receptionist will then pass a message to the GP who will either write the sick note or telephone you to discuss your medical condition.  Once the sick note is ready we will text you and you can then ask for it to be sent via text (if you have a smartphone) or email or we can put it in the post to you.   

You can also request a sick note for an ongoing problem via our new eConsult service.

I can't leave the house, how do I get my medication?

Your prescription will be sent to your preferred pharmacy for collection.  Some pharmacies are offering free home delivery during the Coronavirus pandemic to patients who need to self-isolate or shield so you may wish to ring your pharmacy first to see if this is an option.  You can ask a friend or relative to collect your prescription, just make sure they know your full name and address so that the pharmacist can confirm they are collecting the right medication.  If you do not have anyone to collect your medication for you then you can ring the Folkestone and Hythe Helpline 01303 761116 and they can arrange for a volunteer to deliver your medication from your pharmacy to your home.  The helpline can also help if you are worried about getting food or other services while you are unable to leave the house.

I have a medical problem and need to see the Doctor, can I get an appointment?

If you suspect that you have Coronavirus symptoms such as a new cough or a temperature of 37.8 or above then please DO NOT ring the surgery, instead you should go to the NHS 111 Coronavirus website.  If you have a medical problem that is NOT related to Coronavirus symptoms please ring us on 01303 851411 and speak to a receptionist.  We will usually book you in for a telephone call with a doctor or nurse who will assess your condition and offer you advice and treatment options over the phone.  If the doctor or nurse decides that you need an urgent examination then they will book you in for an appointment at the surgery.  You will need to attend at the specified time and ring the doorbell for entry.  If possible it would be helpful if you do not bring anyone else into the surgery for the appointment unless you need them to be present (eg carer/interpreter).

You can also request medical advice via our new eConsult service.  This service is available 24 hours a day and we aim to reply to your query by the end of the next working day.

How do I get tested for Coronavirus?

We are not able to arrange Coronavirus tests for patients at this time. 

If you suspect you have symptoms please go to the NHS 111 Coronavirus website and follow the guidance.  The NHS 111 website now has information on how to request a Coronavirus test.

PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE THE HOUSE IF YOU THINK YOU HAVE CORONAVIRUS SYMPTOMS OR IF SOMEONE IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD HAS POSSIBLE SYMPTOMS.  Please follow the Self-Isolation Advice on the NHS 111 Website

If you are unable to use the NHS 111 website to request a Coronavirus test you can ring the Coronavirus Testing Call Centre on 119 between 7am and 11pm.

You should receive the results of your test within 4 days, if you have not received your results after this time please ring the Call Centre as above.  

Please note that your test results MAY NOT BE SENT TO THE GP SURGERY so you need to make sure you provide the correct contact information when you book your test.

Why have I received a letter about shielding?

You should have received a letter if you have a condition or are taking medication that puts you at the highest risk of severe illness if you catch Coronavirus.  The list was agreed by the UK's Chief Medical Officer's and you can view the full list of conditions included as well as the latest advice about how to 'shield' yourself on the Government's website.

If you don't think you should have received a letter because you don't seem to come into any of the high risk categories please contact the surgery so we can ask a GP to review your records.  Please continue to follow the advice on shielding until you are advised to stop.  

The first batch of letters was mainly based on data from hospital records and national prescribing records.  The government are now crosschecking this information with GP records and you may receive a letter from the surgery if the GP believes you are at the highest risk based on your GP records.

If you have asked us to review your records or have registered with the Extremely Vulnerable service your records will be reviewed by a clinician at the surgery.  We will then write to you to let you know whether you need to shield or whether you should follow strict social distancing guidance instead.  

NHS England has written a FAQ guide for patients with further information about shielding and how patients have been identified.  You can read the patient FAQ on the NHS England website.

I am a high risk patient, why haven't I received a letter about shielding?

The first batch of patients were identified based on data from hospital records and national prescribing records.  The government are now crosschecking this information with GP records and any additional patients identified will receive a letter about shielding from their GP surgery.

Please check the information with the full list of conditions on the Government's website.  If you have a condition or are receiving treatment that is included on this list but haven't received a letter about shielding please contact the surgery and let us know.  The GP can then review your record and advise you on whether or not you should shield.  You may wish to follow the advice about shielding while you are waiting to hear back from the surgery.

If you have asked us to review your records or have registered with the Extremely Vulnerable service your records will be reviewed by a clinician at the surgery.  We will then write to you to let you know whether you need to shield or whether you should follow strict social distancing guidance instead.  

NHS England has written a FAQ guide for patients with further information about shielding and how patients have been identified.  You can read the patient FAQ on the NHS England website.

Can I have a letter for my employer to stay that I should work from home?

No, we cannot write letters to employers to confirm that you should stay at home.  If you are a very high risk patient you should have received a letter from the government telling you to shield.  More information on who should shield and what you need to do at home to protect yourself can be found on the Government Advice About Shielding website.  Please note that the Government and NHS England are still working to identify these very high risk patients and not everyone has received their letter yet.    If you are not in the very high risk group then we have been advised that anyone who usually gets a flu jab for medical reasons should strictly follow the advice on social distancing and more information is available at the NHS Advice for People At Higher Risk website.  More information about what your work should be doing to support you can be found on the Acas website - Advice for Vulnerable People for Employers and Employees

If you have not received a letter advising you to shield but believe that you should be in the very high risk group please see the information above about how patients have been identified and how you can ask for someone to review your records.

If you have a medical condition that puts you at increased risk then your employer should do a risk assessment.  They should already know about any significant health problems you have but if they need further information about your medical condition then your Occupational Health department should contact the surgery as usual with your consent.  You also have the right to request copies of information from your medical record as a Subject Access Request but please note that we may not be able to respond as quickly as usual to these requests due to the pressures of staffing during this crisis.  

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