Coronavirus- key information
Any patient with a new continuous cough and/or temperature (37.8 degrees or higher) and/or loss or change in smell or taste must
apply for a Covid-19 PCR TEST immediately: https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test (or call 119 if you have no internet access).
IF YOU HAVE SYMPTOMS, YOU SHOULD NOT RELY ON A HOME LATERAL FLOW TEST. THESE ARE ONLY USEFUL FOR PEOPLE WITHOUT ANY SYMPTOMS.
If you have symptoms, you and your household members should self isolate while you await your test result.
The image above (Covid-19 incubation timeline) helps to understand why self isolation is necessary.
If you are known to be at high risk from infections, or you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or if your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 10 days then please use the NHS 111 online service https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ (or call 111 if you don't have internet access).
Please do not come to the surgery if you have any Coronavirus symptoms or have been in contact with anyone with suspected Covid. Please do not come to the surgery if you should be following a period of quarantine following travel abroad.
More information can be found here:
Pulse oximetry monitoring in Covid
Oximetry information and diary - Please view this if you have Covid (or Covid symptoms) and have been given a pulse oximeter machine for monitoring by your GP
Covid vaccinations at Harpenden Public Halls, Harpenden, AL5 1TE.
Please find local Covid-19 vaccination centre newsletters here - they will answer Frequently asked questions and include information about vaccinations for different groups of patients.
COVID VACCINATION NEWSLETTER 1 (8.1.2021)
COVID VACCINATION NEWSLETTER 2 (18.1.2021)
COVID VACCINATION NEWSLETTER 3 (27.1.21)
COVID VACCINATION NEWSLETTER 4 (17.2.21)
COVID VACCINATION NEWSLETTER 5 (1.3.21)
We are working with other Harpenden GP Surgeries which form the Harpenden Health PCN to deliver Covid vaccination. We are vaccinating patients in the order outlined by government guidance. PLEASE DO NOT CALL THE SURGERY - YOU WILL BE CONTACTED WHEN THE VACCINE IS AVAILABLE FOR YOU LOCALLY.
If you or someone you care for is eligible for a vaccination and is very concerned about waiting to be vaccinated, you can try to book online at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/
or dial 119 to see if an alternative nearby vaccination centre has any appointments.
Please find relevant information leaflet about the vaccine, which is important to read prior to vaccination here: Covid Vaccine information leaflet
Find out more about the local vaccination programme: https://www.stahfed.co.uk/covid-vaccination-patient-info
Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (HVCCG) have produced this informative FAQ, please click on the link below: https://hertsvalleysccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-know/coronavirus-QandA
Self Isolation - including link for self isolation notes
The image above (Covid-19 incubation timeline) helps to understand why self isolation is necessary.
Please see links below for guidance about self isolation, when to seek further help, and when it is safe to return to normal stay- at- home routines:
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/ (this link contains details of how to obtain a self-isolation note for your employer)
Patients at high risk of serious illness from Coronavirus
The NHS have contacted most of those considered at highest risk of serious complications from Coronavirus. For those at highest risk, they have been advised at times during the pandemic to shield themselves from others- to stay at least 2metres away from anyone at all times (including inside their home ) - and to stay at home.
If you would like to check whether you fall into this category, and for further information in relation to high risk patients, please follow these links:
If you are a high risk patient and you have any health concerns, please contact the surgery as you normally would. We have a specific clinical room where we can see you safely at the surgery if needed. We need to deep clean the room between each patient so the number of appointments are limited, but we will endeavour to see all those that need a review in a timely way. We also have a named contact at the surgery for our shielded patients - please ask for Lesley Lobhan.
If you are entitled to a seasonal flu jab, your risk is also considered to be raised. You should strictly adhere to the government rules about social distancing.
Anyone of any age, with current coronavirus symptoms (fever+/- cough +/- loss or change of smell/taste) should apply for a test here:
https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or call 119 if no internet access
Care homes who look after older people or people with dementia can apply for tests for their staff and residents even if they don't have symptoms.
Tests for essential workers and their family members with symptoms will be prioritised.
Please follow the link above.
Face masks and coverings
For guidance regarding requirements to wear face masks and coverings, please see this government link:
What parents need to know about COVID-19
Advice for parents of babies during Covid 19
Advice for parents of children during Covid 19
Ideas for time at home: https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/resources/stay-home-activities-children-young-people
At this time many parents are struggling with child care while having to continue going out to work or risk losing their jobs and income. The NSPCC gives advice about when a child can be left at home alone https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/in-the-home/home-alone/
Mental Health and Victim Support
If you feel Coronavirus is affecting your mental health, please see links below for help:
If you feel you need more support, you can self refer to the Wellbeing team:
https://www.hpft.nhs.uk/services/community-services/wellbeing-service/ or call them on 0300 777 0707
If you need support around a child or young person's emotional wellbeing, learning or development, contact ContactLine on 01992 588574
Or visit https://youngminds.org.uk/
Or find more support here: Coronavirus Support for young people and their families
Information for children and young people during coronavirus
For domestic abuse support during the coronavirus pandemic: http://www.safelives.org.uk/
Harpenden Boots is part of the 'Safe Place Scheme'. Their consultation room provides a safe space for someone to come and make a call to a number of supportive help lines.
The government have launched a new website to use in finding out what help you can get if affected by coronavirus for such topics as feeling unsafe, going to work, paying bills or being unemployed, getting food, having somewhere to live. The link is
If you need support while at home, and live in Wheathampstead, please see leaflet:
Wheathampstead Community support for Covid 19
If you need support while at home, and live in Harpenden, please visit The Harpenden Cares website, www.harpendencares.org or contact the Harpenden Cares Contact Centre (10am-2pm Monday to Friday) on 01582 460457
In Harpenden and Wheathampstead, HertsHelp can also provide support: 0300 123 4044 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or see St Albans District Community support leaflet:
Covid Community Support - St Albans District
The NHS Volunteer scheme can also provide support: https://volunteering.royalvoluntaryservice.org.uk/nhs-volunteer-responders-portal/isolating
Patients known to have had Covid
If you have been diagnosed with Covid 19 or suspect you have had it, and need ongoing support to aid a full recovery, please see the links below:
Of course, please also contact the practice to speak to one of our clinicians if needed.
Other patient groups
Please see answers to Frequently Asked questions for pregnant and postnatal patients:
More advice here from West Herts Trust:
Information for pregnant women about coronavirus
For patients normally receiving a b12 injection - in line with government social distancing rules, and to reduce your risk of contact at this time, we are suggesting that those who normally have vitamin B12 injections take 1000mcg of cyanocobalamin daily instead of receiving their injections from the surgery during the coronavirus outbreak. Cyanocobalamin can be bought from chemists or online. For those who have symptoms or who feel strongly that they want to continue their injections, please contact the surgery to speak to your own doctor.
There seems to be increasing evidence that patients with diabetes are more affected than others by Covid 19. Please check our Diabetes information on the Long Term conditions tab at the bottom of the website for updated information.
There is currently a shortage of standard Clenil steroid inhalers for asthmatics; as a result, a different version is being produced - this will be exactly the same medication, but will come in a different colour (yellow and beige, not brown and beige) and it will not have a dose indicator. We advise you to keep a close eye out for when the canister is nearing empty so you can re-order in a timely manner; and you should confirm the dosage on the labelling of the outer package and canister.
Getting healthier in light of Covid
In light of the Covid outbreak, a new public health campaign has been launched to help adults to live healthier lives. If you want to improve your lifestyle, become more active and prevent weight gain, please see this link:
Coronavirus- How has our service had to change?
We have remained open and here for you. We are continuing to provide services as we have been throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, but we are being asked to prioritise delivery of care and services based on clinical needs.
The way you access your GP is therefore a little different- it has changed to ensure you get the best and most appropriate care safely and quickly. To make this possible, we are triaging most appointment requests (you can request an appointment via the online tool above, by phone or in person at reception). Triaging appointments allows us to assess the most appropriate way to provide your care depending on your clinical need, and ensure your care is provided by the most appropriate person in an appropriate time-frame. Your appointment may be by phone or video, or a face to face consultation.
Please be aware that when you do visit the surgery, you will be asked to wear a face mask (unless you are exempt) and comply with social distancing regulations. If the reception or waiting room area is busy, you may be asked to wait outside the surgery until it is safe for you to enter.
General practice, nationally, is under intense pressure- supporting patients, communities, hospitals and delivering vaccinations.
Our team are working extremely hard to provide services and care both at the practice and at the vaccination centre - we thank you for your ongoing support, and appreciate your patience and respect
What should you now do if you have a problem unrelated to Coronavirus?
If you need help or advice not related to coronavirus:
• for routine health information and advice, use this surgery website or NHS website
- if you don't find your answer on this website or the NHS website - please complete an online consultation form, or call surgery.
• for urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service: https://111.nhs.uk. Only call 111 if you're unable to get help online.
• for life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance