COVID-19/Coronavirus: Important Update on West Heath Surgery Services

We would like to thank you for your understanding that we have had to change many of our services during this pandemic. Our staff continue to work hard to deliver as many services as possible, whilst also trying to provide essential COVID-19 services such as initial and booster vaccinations.

We are still here for anyone who may need care for an urgent need, but would ask for patience as we support this key national priority. We are restarting services as quickly as we can and we offer  and will update this page with updates as these services progress.

Please don’t forget there are many services available for you, depending on your condition. These include:

  • Self-care – This is the best choice to treat minor illnesses and injuries such as hangovers, coughs, colds, grazes, small cuts or sore throats. Many of these can be treated at home, simply with over-the-counter medicines and plenty of rest.
  • Pharmacy – Pharmacists can give advice on and treat a range of symptoms. They can support you with things such as diarrhoea, earaches, painful coughs, sticky eyes, teething and rashes.
  • NHS 111 – You can access 111 online or via the telephone. This is for any urgent but non-life threatening health concerns. They will be able to signpost you to the relevant service and provide advice where appropriate, or book you in to an Urgent Treatment Centre.
  • A&E / 999 – You should only attend A&E or dial 999 in a life-threatening emergency such as severe bleeding, breathing difficulties and severe chest pain.

I think I might have Coronavirus. What should I do?

You may have Coronavirus if you have the following symptoms:

  • A high temperature (your back or chest is hot to touch)
  • A new continuous cough
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste

If you have these symptoms please do not visit your local health services like your GP, Pharmacy or Hospital.

If you have any Coronavirus symptoms, you must self-isolate and arrange a test. This can be done by contacting NHS 119 or by clicking here.

You do not need to call anyone regarding your symptoms unless you have an underlying health condition which you are concerned about or your symptoms are severe enough that you need medical attention e.g. you are short of breath. If you do have a question or want to talk someone about your symptoms, please call NHS 111 or access their online advice portal by clicking here.

Non-Coronavirus queries

As Covid-19 restrictions ease, Patients may be able to book directly into a face-to-face appointment should it be deemed safe to do so. Despite the number of Covid-19 cases decreasing, the Surgery will continue to conduct initial patient appointments by telephone or video. This is to keep patients and our team safe. You can book your appointment in the usual way with our app or by calling reception.

Routine monitoring and procedure

In line with the restoration of NHS services program, we are now re-starting our recall process for Chronic Disease management. These reviews may be done phone, online or face to face depending on the review that you need. If we ask you to attend the surgery, it is important that you attend at the time of your appointment.

We are now asking  patients to wear a face covering when you attend the practice for an appointment in an attempt to protect both your and other patients health. We would please like to reiterate that as we are in a clinical setting, others who attend our services may be vulnerable and experience increased complications should they contract Covid-19- our cautious approach is centered around these patients.

We would also like to remind patients that if you have any coronavirus symptoms – a new continuous cough, temperature, or loss of taste and smell, or you co-habit with someone who has these symptoms, you should NOT attend your appointment and self-isolate for the next 5 days or until a negative Covid-19 test is produced. If you are in this situation please contact the practice to cancel your appointment.

Thank you for your assistance in preventing the spread of coronavirus.

Face to face appointments

The surgery front doors are now open, however, for patient and staff safety please only attend if you have a booked appointment or have been asked to enter the building by a member of the practice team. Please do not attend the practice for any other reason as all other queries can be dealt with on the telephone.

Dealing with your repeat medications

Are you on repeat medication? Then we’ll ensure you receive your prescriptions via our Prescription Ordering Department.

Please order your prescription a week before your medication runs out. This gives us plenty of time to process your prescription, and for the pharmacy to dispense your items.

You should order your prescription by phone or by our patient app. This will stop you coming into contact with other patients when you don’t need to.

During this crisis, phone lines may be busier than usual. So we recommend that you use our app. It’s available 24/7, and only needs a few presses of a button.

Please note: our Prescription Ordering Department will continue to operate as normal. You do not need to request more than your normal quantity of medication.

How to get a sick note

If you require a sick note for coronavirus self-isolating purposes there is now a dedicated NHS website which you can access by clicking here. The website will generate a note which you can then email to your employer if required.

If you require a sick note for ongoing medical reasons not relating to Coronavirus then most sick notes can be issued without you seeing a doctor face-to-face. A telephone consultation with a doctor is fine.

Need a sick note? Then please contact the reception team to request a telephone appointment.

We will now email the sick note to you if possible. This will avoid you attending the surgery.

Please note: you should self-certify for the first seven days of your illness. However, this guidance may change during the crisis.

Shielding Letters

Shielding advice was paused on 1 April 2021, however if you previously received a shielding letter you should consider additional precautions you might wish to take.

Please click here for further government guidance on Shielding.

Why you should use our patient app

During this crisis we expect much higher call volumes than usual. To avoid you having to wait on the phone, we strongly recommend that you use our patient app.

You can use our app to:

  • book your appointments
  • order your medication
  • view your medical record
  • obtain your test results
  • link to some health devices

Not got our app yet? You’ll find it on Google Play and in the app store. Our practice will call to verify you.

Referrals and Further Care

If you need a referral, we will make this as usual. However, waiting times at hospitals and other services have increased in recent weeks.

Due to current pressures, hospitals are cancelling some outpatients clinics and also routine operations with extended waiting times in some circumstances. We do not have any control over this. If you need further information, please contact the relevant hospital directly.

You will find some useful numbers at the bottom of our referrals page.

Need more information?

We will keep updating this page with the latest official guidance.

For more NHS information on Coronavirus please click here.

Page last updated – May 2022