Downland Practice COVID-19 FAQs


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 daily update.

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. For advice on who to see for your symptoms, please use the interactive NHS 111 Online service. If you have a minor ailment, check if the pharmacist can help before calling our team. If you have sustained a minor injury, please call 111 to arrange a visit to the Urgent Treatment Centre (formerly Minor Injuries Unit) at West Berkshire Community Hospital. If you require a GP or nurse, please call our team on 01635 248251 option 1.

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 to another more appropriate service. Please be prepared to give details of your problem to our team.

All 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 Online, 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.

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.

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

If you have any questions regarding an upcoming booked hospital appointment or need to find out when your rescheduled hospital appointment will be, 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.

Can I book a flu vaccination?

Please see our flu notice for information on flu vaccination for children, ‘at-risk’ patients, and patients aged 50+.


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

The practice is working hard to resume some non-NHS services (i.e. requests for insurance form completion and medical records etc). Any requests for non-NHS paperwork submitted before or during the pandemic will be dealt with in date order and subject to the availability of the appropriate GP. Please note that we are not yet booking private medical appointments. For more information, please contact our private administration team.

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-coronavirus related) condition, please request a sick note online.

Prescriptions and medication

How can I order my repeat prescription?

  • Online at Patient Access
  • 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 repeat prescription via the website or telephone.

When will my prescription be ready to collect?

If 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 click HERE for information on the COVID-19 home delivery service.

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.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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

Testing is not currently being carried out at the practice. For information on what to do if you think you need a test, please see visit

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 for more information and advice.

Can I go back to work?

Government guidance for employees and employers is available HERE. 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?

Please visit for up-to-date guidance on what to do if you are clinically extremely vulnerable (‘shielded’).

Can I be added to a waiting list for a COVID-19 vaccination?

No. We currently do not have any information regarding a COVID-19 vaccine and are therefore not running a waiting list for this at this time.

Where can I get further help and advice during the COVID-19 pandemic?

Our website is currently being updated on a daily basis. Please also see our COVID-19 Support Room,, the NHS website, and our practice news items for the latest updates, further help, advice, and resources.


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