This section of our website will be used to share the most up-to-date information on the Coronavirus.
COVID-19: Frequently Asked Questions
We have put together some frequently asked questions to help our patients, and also help our team, who are getting many of the same queries come through to them.
Please remember the guidance is constantly evolving. We will update this page frequently.
Last updated: Monday 22nd March 2021
I’m worried I have symptoms, where do I get help?
Ideally you would visit https://111.nhs.uk/service/COVID-19. If you don’t have online access, call 111.
What if I need to seek medical advice for other symptoms?
There are a variety of options available:
- Visit www.nhs.uk
- Visit www.what0-18.nhs.uk (this site provides advice on child health, and if you are pregnant)
- Use eConsult to contact the surgery- this is for medical matters only- please do not use this form to raise a complaint, there is a separate process to raise these. Also for requesting repeat medication it is quicker and easier to use the NHS app. For booking appointments with a nursing team please telephone the surgery.
- Telephone the surgery
What is a "continuous cough"?
This means coughing a lot for more than an hour or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours. (If you usually have a cough, it may be worse).
Where can I get more information on vulnerable groups?
Information at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults
I have been Shielding and now my Employer wants me to return to the work place?
Shielding officially ends on Wednesday 31st March 2021, from this date emplyers can request that individuals return to the work place. If you feel this is not appropriate, you would need to discuss this with your emplyer / occupational health in the first instance.
My employer wants a fit note for self-isolation - how do I get this?
We are not able to provide a fit note for patients who are self-isolating. Instead you should visit https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note.
Do I need to tell you or 111 I am self-isolating?
There is no need to inform anyone you are self-isolating. Contact 111 only if your symptoms need medical help.
I’ve not heard back from 111 can you help me instead?
Currently, all patients with a fever or new persistent cough who are in need of medical help must visit 111 online or call 111. NHS 111 are extremely busy, but will give you a timeframe for a return call. If your condition deteriorates, you may consider attending A&E or calling 999, but please remember these services are also under great pressure.
We do not currently have the infrastructure or equipment to see patients with symptoms in the practice – please do not call us or come to the practice; rather wait for your call back from 111.
NHS111 have told me I probably have Coronavirus. I need medical help, and 111 have told me to get medical help from my GP - how do I do this?
Please call us for a telephone assessment from the GP, who may be able to assist you by telephone or video.
What if I've been told I have Coronavirus, or I am isolating due to a household member having symptoms, and my problem can't be dealt with over the phone?
You should call the practice for an assessment with the GP remotely initially. If they decide that you do need to be seen, you will be made an appointment at the local 'Hot Practice'.
In line with NHS England recommendations, the practice is now closed for face to face consultations for patients experiencing high risk symptoms of COVID-19 (new persistent cough and fever >37.8c). Patients with COVID-19 symptoms who are deemed by a clinician to require a face to face consultation will now be seen at the locality ‘Hot Practice’ based at Bursledon Surgery.
We have separated the clinic to reduce the risk to our patients and staff of cross contamination and to rationalise our limited Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) stock.
I’m self-isolating how do I order my repeat medication?
If you have set up your account online through one of the online providers, you can order your medications there. You are able to set up the NHS App yourself, which is preferable to coming to the practice to show ID.
- App Store: https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/nhs-app/id1388411277
- Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.nhs.online.nhsonline&hl=en
I’m self-isolating, and I don’t have online access
If you don’t have online access, and you are unable to leave the house, please call us to have an individual discussion.
I’ve not had an inhaler for a while can I get a new one?
If your inhaler has expired, it has run out, or you don’t currently have one, the best way to request a new one is using online services.
If the inhaler is no longer on your repeat medication, please submit an eConsult. If you require it because you currently have problems with your asthma / other lung disease, please use the appropriate pathway (e.g. breathing difficulties). If you have no current problems but need a new inhaler, use the administration pathway.
I’m worried about bringing my baby for immunisations, can I delay?
We are currently recommending that you still bring your child in for their immunisations, unless they have a cough or fever.
I’m due a blood test for my INR monitoring, should I still come in?
Yes, unless you have a cough or fever. It is important to continue monitoring your bloods for medications if you have already been asked to do this.
I’m due a blood test for my INR monitoring but I’m self-isolating, how do I get this done? Can it wait?
It is important to continue monitoring your bloods for medications if you have already been asked to do this. If you are self-isolating for 2 weeks or are unwell, please contact the practice by telephone for advice.
I’ve had a baby recently – how will I get the baby check?
We are currently completing our baby checks at the same time as their 8 week immunisations to reduce footfall in the practice. This will automatically be booked at the same time.
Can I get three months of medication?
We are complying with national advice and issuing the normal supply of medication to prevent shortages at pharmacies. There is no need to stockpile as there is plenty of supply if everyone manages their medication responsibly.
I can’t get any paracetamol / calpol in the shops; can I have it on prescription?
We are complying with national advice and not offering prophylactic pain relief on prescription. Please speak to your pharmacist for advice on how to obtain this over the counter.
I’ve heard I shouldn’t be taking my NSAIDS (e.g. Ibuprofen); do I need to speak to a GP?
NHS England is currently recommending patients take paracetamol rather than NSAIDS if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. This is because there is some evidence that NSAIDS can affect the ability of the body to respond to this infection. Patients who take NSAIDS for other conditions can continue to take these are normal.
I want to be medically prepared – what should I have at home?
The most important measure to help make you comfortable is good hydration. Paracetamol can help with fever or pain (make sure you follow the instructions on the patient leaflet). A thermometer can be useful for small children if they are being managed through telephone or video advice from a clinician. More information regarding children and managing their illnesses is at https://what0-18.nhs.uk
How do I get the latest information about the practice?
This website and our FaceBook page will be updated regularly with helpful information.
COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic FAQ
In order to be able to offer a more flexible booking process for the COVID-19 vaccination program, we are now sending a text message to patients who have a mobile phone listed on their records.
This page has some Frequently Asked Questions about this process.
Last Updated: Friday 5th February 2021
Who does the text come from?
The text will come from “West End Surgery" and will invite you by name.
How do we know the text is genuine?
The text will include a link to this page, and also the booking link includes “nhs.uk”. If you do receive a link you’re unsure about, please remember, we will never ask for your bank details or take payment for the vaccine.
I share a mobile number with my partner and children – how do I know who the invite is for?
The invite will say your name, but if there is more than one person with that name and the incorrect person tries to book, they will not be able to get through security.
What if I can’t click the link, or don’t have internet access?
Don’t worry, we can also book you by talking to you. If you receive a text but cannot book using the link, please call the practice. If you cannot call the practice, we will be running searches to see who hasn’t yet booked, and we will call people. Don’t worry – you won’t miss out.
Where are the clinics?
The clinics are still being held at Bursledon Surgery. When you book, you will get a confirmation text with the address details.
Do I need to wear a mask?
Yes, please wear a face-covering if you are able to. If you have a medical exemption, please wear a face shield instead. This is for your protection, as well as other patients and staff on site.
What if I get a temperature, a cough or loss of taste or smell?
If you are currently isolating, please do not book an appointment yet, wait until you have a negative test result.
If you develop symptoms after booking, you can cancel your appointment using the same link.
What if I’ve had COVID-19 recently?
Current advice is not to have the vaccine if you’ve had a COVID-19 positive test in the last four weeks. You can use the link to book once this period has expired.
What if there are no appointments when I click the link?
We are trying not to let this happen as we are only sending out texts for the appointment availability, but if you do find this, you should keep trying every day or two over the next week as new appointments will be added as we get new vaccines delivered.
What about my second vaccination?
The current guidance is your second vaccine will be 12 weeks after your first. You will be invited to book this in the week or so leading up to the 12th week.
I've recently had the vaccination but still got a text invite, is this an error?
It can take upto 48 hours for the system to record your vaccination onto your medical record. As a result, you may receive an SMS invite following your vaccination appointment. If this is within the 48 hours, please ignore the SMS invite.
What if I’ve booked through the National Booking Centre or a Local Pharmacy Service?
That’s fine – we are just pleased you are getting vaccinated! There is no need to tell us, we will get notified automatically.
What if I can’t make any of the appointment times offered?
You will be offered a range of appointment times, but if you can’t make any of them, check back in a day or so for the next release of appointments.
Can my partner use my text link to book?
The link is only valid for the person it is sent to. Your partner will get a text of their own, or a telephone call, to book them in.
My partner is in the same cohort as me, why haven’t they had a text?
The most likely reason is that we are sending text invites out in batches as we only have a certain amount of vaccines to give at once, they will get an invite when their batch has been included. It could also be because we have the wrong number recorded on their medical records. If you think this might be the case, please ask them to use eConsult admin to update us with their mobile number.
Do I need to bring anything with me on the day?
As well as a mask, please make sure you wrap up warmly as the queue starts outside the practice. We hope not to keep you waiting for too long. If it is raining, please bring your umbrella.
Is there parking on site?
Yes, there is a car park, and marshals to help keep traffic moving.
I need a carer to support me in accessing the appointment – am I allowed to bring them?
Yes, please ask them to wear a mask.
I have a carer and want them to have the vaccine with me – can they book?
Carers come in to cohort 6, so will be invited when we get to this group.
I struggle with stairs – is there a lift?
Yes, there is a lift available.
I am a single parent and don’t have childcare for my children, can I bring them with me?
We encourage everyone to come on their own where possible for everyone’s safety. If this is not possible, you can bring your child(ren) with you, if they are able to wear a mask, please do get them to do so.
I have a question about side effects – who can I ask?
All the up to date information about the vaccines can be found here https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/coronavirus-vaccine.
I want to choose the vaccine I have – how do I know what is being given?
At the moment, we have been allocated both the Pfizer and the Astra Zeneca vaccines, and each clinic will have one or the other. We do not offer the choice of the vaccine. If there is a medical reason why you cannot have one of the vaccines, please ring the practice.
I cannot get to Bursledon Surgery as I don’t drive – how can I get help?
If you have no one who is able to take you, you have a couple of options: If you are over 70 or high risk, Radio Taxis are offering free transport to have the vaccine – you will need to show the driver proof of the booking – your text confirmation is ideal. More information is here http://radiotaxisonline.co.uk/radio-taxis-free-vaccination-taxi.
I am housebound and not able to get to Bursledon surgery – can I have the vaccine at home?
If you are genuinely housebound, please call the surgery to discuss.
How can I be confident that my data is secure using this link?
The system we are using to offer these appointments is called “accuBook” which is run by “accuRx”. This is the same company we use to send text messages to our patients. accuBook is an NHS Digital assured appointment management solution, and more information on this service can be found at https://support.accurx.com/en/articles/4794856-i-have-been-invited-to-book-my-covid-19-vaccination-through-a-book-nhs-me-link-is-this-legitimate?.