Common Queries About Coronavirus (COVID-19)

We have collected some common queries that patients have been contacting the practice with. The vast majority of these queries can be answered by looking at NHS and UK Government information sites. Please do not ask staff at the practice to deal with these enquiries. If you do phone the practice with these questions our reception staff have been asked to direct you to the resources listed below.

Where can I find advice about COVID-19?

The best place for advice about COVID-19 is on the NHS website. Please visit

I am not sure if I should be social distancing?

Everybody should be social distancing. It is particularly important to follow the guidance if you fall into a higher risk group, such as aged over 70, or needing a flu jab each year for medical reasons. This GOV.UK page has all the advice you need about who should be social distancing and what it means :

Do I need a letter to show at the supermarket so I can get online deliveries or use the special opening times for the vulnerable?

If you have been advised you should be “shielding” (see below) then you can use the shielding letter. If you fall into a risk category where shielding is NOT advised, but you ARE at increased risk (eg over 70, or advised to have a flu jab each year for a medical reason) then you need to simply tell the person at the shop this fact. Please do not ask us for a letter – this applies to several thousand of our patients and we simply cannot provide letters for everyone who falls into one of these groups.

Am I considered at very high risk from COVID-19?

The UK Government wants to ‘shield’ those that are at very high risk of illness from COVID-19. This is for people who have particularly poor immune responses, eg transplant patients, people having chemotherapy for cancers, and people taking certain (but not all) medicines that can suppress the immune system. Patients in that group will receive a communication in the coming days to let them know if they are in the very high risk group. If you think you should have been included in the group but have not been, you can register yourself by visiting

Details on what shielding means can be found here:

I need a sick note for a covid related illness?

All sickness certification for covid related illnesses is being done by NHS111 online. You can access this here

If you have had a shielding letter this can also be used as a note for your employer to allow you to work from home, or as a sick note if this is impossible to arrange.

I take inhalers regularly for my asthma – what should I do?

Please continue to take, and to request your medication as normal. We will provide prescriptions for your usual inhalers in the same quantities as usual. If you are running low on your reliever inhaler (blue/salbutamol/Ventolin) we can provide an extra inhaler.

I have a diagnosis of asthma but do not take regular steroid inhalers – can I request inhalers?

If you have not had prescriptions of inhalers for 12 months or more it is unlikely that we will issue a prescription. If you become ill and feel you need inhalers you should contact the surgery and will be directed to have a triage phone call with a clinician. If you have had a salbutamol inhaler in the last 12 months we may issue one inhaler. If you have had a steroid or combination inhaler in the last 3 months we may issue an inhaler.

I have a diagnosis of asthma and I have read I need a “rescue pack” at home?

Rescue packs of steroids and/or antibiotics are part of the treatment plan for some, but not all, patients with asthma. Anyone who needs to keep a rescue pack at home should already have one. Please contact a clinician before using your rescue pack, because the advice about using oral steroids in the early stages of covid disease is to get clinician advice first.

I have asthma and I am concerned by symptoms are getting worse – what should I do?

If you are concerned that your asthma is getting worse please contact the surgery for a phone appointment with a clinician.

I would like an extra set of medication at home “just in case”.

We are not anticipating shortages of medication. We will not be providing “just in case” routine medications.