CORONAVIRUS – What you need to know.

Updated 21/9/2020

Letter to Patients (Complaints – Covid19) – Please read this letter regarding any complaints you may have during this time, and our temporary process whilst we work through this situation.

NHS information –

Government information –

If you have symptoms, book a test (within the first 5 days of having them) –

NHS test & trace & how it works –


The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms.

How to book a COVID-19 test

Your GP Practice cannot assist you in booking a Covid-19 test and does not provide Covid-19 testing; this can only be done via the national online booking portal. Your GP Practice cannot advise you on whether or not your child or children are safe to return to school; this should be discussed with the school(s) concerned.

Please do not visit or make an appointment at your GP practice if you have any symptoms of Covid-19 (high temperature, new continuous cough, loss of taste and/or smell).

The Government is scaling up its testing capacity even further to 500,000 tests a day by the end of October, expanding its network of testing sites and laboratories, as well as investing in new testing technologies. Whilst this scaling up is happening, the service is currently very busy. We would ask anyone who tries to book a test and is unable to do so, or who is offered a location or time which is not convenient, to please wait a few hours and then try again.

What to Expect at the Surgery

Since March the way we provide our services has changed a lot. Some services were suspended, such as cervical screening, but we are now starting to slowly re-introduce some of these services.

In order for us to carry out necessary face to face consultations whilst keeping both you and our staff safe, we ask that all patients attending the surgery do the following;

  • All patients aged 5+ must wear a face covering. You can make your own as shown below, purchase one or use something like a scarf. The clinician you are seeing can refuse to see you if you are not wearing one. Exceptions apply to those with breathing difficulties etc, similar to the rules that apply on public transport.

This Morning – How to make a face covering at home.

GOV.UK – How to wear and make a cloth face covering.

  • Make use of hand sanitiser provided when entering, moving around and leaving the building.
  • Follow any directions, such as one-way systems, in the surgeries and follow any instructions given by staff. (Below is the current one way system in operation at Harris Medical Centre).
  • Respect social distancing where possible.
  • Try not to arrive too early for your appointment. Only a certain amount of patients can be in the building at any given time.
  • Where possible, attend your appointment alone. Exceptions are made for one parent attending with a child and patients who require a carer.
  • Please only sit on designated seats. These are marked with a green tick (accompanying parents/carers may use adjacent seats which will be marked with a cross). Please do not separate your family or move seats.

For the time being front doors will still remain locked and a member of staff will attend to you on your arrival. All staff will wear face masks when moving around the building and the clinician you are seeing will also be wearing one during your visit.

Chronic Disease Reviews

Every year we invite patients to attend surgery for a review of their asthma, COPD, diabetes etc. Over the past couple of months nurses have been contacting some of these patients by phone to do these reviews and postponing any blood tests required to a later date.

In order to still reduce the amount of people attending surgery several changes will occur;

  • Asthma/COPD reviews will be done by video or in surgery where this is not possible.
  • Diabetes/Healthy heart reviews – you will be invited to attend surgery for any blood tests etc, with your follow up being done by telephone/video (those who cannot receive a telephone or video call will be invited to attend the surgery).
  • Hypertension reviews – carried out at the surgery.
  • Mental Health health check – carried out at the surgery.


Since March most consultations have been conducted via telephone or video in order to limit the amount of patients visiting the surgery. Photos sent by text or email have also become an integral part of our service.

Video consultation in particular has proven to be beneficial. So much so that we will be looking to incorporate more of this in the future post-covid world.

Whilst we are still limiting the amount of patients attending the premises the current services are still available at both surgeries;

  • Blood tests
  • Blood pressure checks
  • Childhood vaccinations (continued throughout the pandemic)
  • Other necessary injections/vaccinations
  • Sexual health/contraception
  • Smear tests
  • Chronic disease reviews (where video/telephone is not possible).
  • ECGs (when clinically necessary)
  • GP/Paramedic consultations (when necessary)
  • Medication reviews (by telephone/video only)
  • Home visits