Downland Practice COVID-19 FAQs

Appointments

Is the practice still open?

Our opening hours can be found here. For information on The Downland Practice response to COVID-19, please see our practice update. Please do not attend the surgery unless you have been asked to by a member of staff.

Who do I need to see?

Some symptoms and conditions do not need to be assessed by a GP and are better dealt with by another healthcare professional.

Can I see a GP?

Our reception team are trained and instructed to work to a set of GP-developed guidelines when handling calls. Our team will ask you a set of questions to ensure you receive the most appropriate help for your specific issue. This may be an appointment with a GP, nurse, clinical pharmacist, or signposting you to another more appropriate service. Please be prepared to give details of your problem to our team.

All routine GP appointments are currently being conducted by telephone. For the best continuity of care, you will be offered the next available routine telephone appointment with your registered GP. As we begin the process of resuming routine services, you may expect to wait for a routine appointment. Making use of other NHS and community services for advice where appropriate, such as NHS 111, the pharmacy, and Urgent Treatment Centre (formerly Minor Injuries Unit), can help us to keep this wait to a minimum.

If your issue is medically urgent, you must call BEFORE 12:30. After 12:30, there are no available bookable appointments. Please be aware that by requesting medically urgent advice, you agree to be available to attend the surgery the same day, if requested by our team.

My hospital appointment has been cancelled/postponed. What should I do?

If you have any questions regarding a hospital appointment, please contact the relevant hospital directly.

How can I access medical help if I am staying out of the area?

If you are usually registered with The Downland Practice but are currently staying out of the area, you should register with your local GP surgery so you can access GP help and/or a prescription should you need it.

Can I register temporarily with the practice?

If you are currently staying within our catchment area, please see our registration page.

Vaccinations and COVID-19 Testing

When will I be offered a COVID-19 vaccine?

Please see our practice update for information on the vaccine roll-out.

Why you have to wait for your COVID-19 vaccine – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Am I eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine?

Eligibility criteria for the COVID-19 vaccine can be found HERE.

Can I have my second (booster) COVID-19 vaccination at Newbury Racecourse?

Due to vaccine supply and distribution, you must have your second vaccination at the same venue as you had your first. This means only those who had their first vaccination at Newbury Racecourse are eligible to have their second there. If you are new to the area, please let us know as you may also be eligible to have your booster vaccination at Newbury Racecourse.

Which vaccines are available at the Newbury Racecourse vaccination centre?

The Newbury Racecourse site currently only stocks first (subject to supply) and second dose AstraZeneca, second dose Pfizer, and no Moderna vaccines. For information on vaccine availability at mass NHS centres, please call 119. You will be offered as a booster that same vaccine you had for your first dose, i.e. if you received an AstraZeneca first dose, you will be offered an AstraZeneca booster.

For information on each vaccine: Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Can I book a flu vaccination?

Flu clinics will return at The Downland Practice later in the year. Please do not enquire about flu vaccinations at this time. All eligible patients will be notified when it’s time to book in.

Should I still bring my child for their routine childhood immunisations?

For your child’s health and wellbeing, it is important that childhood immunisations are not missed. If your child is due routine immunisations, you will be sent an invitation letter with an appointment date and time, and further information. If you have any queries, please ask the nurse via the website.

Can I have a test for COVID-19 infection and/or antibodies?

Get a free NHS test to check if you have coronavirus – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

List of private providers of coronavirus testing – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Administration, Work, and Exemptions

Is private (non-NHS) work still being carried out?

Due to the continuing coronavirus pandemic, The Downland Practice GPs have suspended most private (non-NHS) work until further notice. There are some exceptions to this. For information, please call us. If you require a private medical examination, you should raise this with the requesting company who may be able to direct you to another private medical examination provider.

How can I get a sick note for work?

If you have symptoms of coronavirus or live with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus, you can obtain a note for your employer directly from the NHS 111 isolation note service. If you require a sick note for an ongoing (non-isolation related) condition, please request a sick note online.

Can I have a letter for face mask exemption?

There is no requirement for a letter of certificate in relation to the wearing of face coverings and as such, we will not be providing letters for face mask exemption. Please visit the following link for information: Coronavirus (COVID-19): safer travel guidance for passengers – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

How do I get a COVID-19 vaccine passport?

There is currently no guidance on vaccine passports and as such we cannot yet provide these. You will have been given a vaccination card at the time of your vaccine; please retain this.

Can I go back to work?

Official government guidance for employers and employees: Working safely during coronavirus (COVID-19) – Guidance – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

If you need individual medical advice from a GP regarding returning to work, please send the GP a message via the website. Please note that GPs do not provide ‘fit to work’ notes and/or letters.

What is the current guidance for ‘shielded’ patients?

Advice for people at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable) – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Prescriptions and medication

How can I order my repeat prescription?

  • Online at Patient Access
  • Email your request to prescription.downland@nhs.net
  • Post your repeat slip to the practice
  • Put your repeat slip through the letter box of the practice

Please note that we cannot accept requests for routine repeat prescriptions via the website, or over the telephone.

When will my prescription be ready to collect?

Once you have requested a prescription, it will be ready to collect after 4 working days.

Can I order more than 1 month’s worth of medication?

Repeat medication requests will only be issued for 1 month at a time due to supply concerns.

Can I have my medication delivered?

Please see our medication home delivery notice.

My medication review is due/overdue. What should I do?

Our Clinical Pharmacist is now managing routine medication reviews and will work closely and discuss your case with your GP. If your medication review is due or overdue, please call our team on 01635 248251 option 1 to book a telephone appointment with Clinical Pharmacist. The pharmacy and GPs have implemented a 3 month ‘grace period’ during which you can continue to order your medication pending a review, unless advised otherwise by a clinician or member of the team.

 

On behalf of the GP Partners at the Downland Practice, thank you for your patience and ongoing support.