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COVID-19 Latest Advice and Update - 23rd February 2021.

The latest information about Coronavirus (Covid-19) and the current operation of the surgery and pharmacy will be posted HERE.  At this time we are not actively updating other pages of the website so please do not rely on them for accurate information.


If you have any of these symptoms you must self isolate for 10 days:

  • High temperature 37.8 or above
  • A dry persistent cough
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste

This applies to children and adults.

If you live with someone who has symptoms, you’ll need to isolate for 14 days from the day their symptoms started.  This is because it can take 14 days for symptoms to appear.

For assistance with Covid-19 symptoms, please access NHS 111 online at https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19 or call 111. 

Your GP cannot test for Covid 19.  To see if you qualify for testing and to arrange it, please go to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested

If you’re recovering from Covid 19, you may still be experiencing some symptoms and coming to terms with the impact that the virus has had on your physical and mental wellbeing. Please visit https://www.yourcovidrecovery.nhs.uk/ to help you understand what has happened and what you might expect as part of your recovery.

Please do not contact the surgery for a medical certificate if you either have symptoms of Coronavirus or you are self isolating as you are in a household with someone with symptoms of Coronavirus.  Please use this link to obtain a self-isolation certificate. https://111.nhs.uk/ISOLATION-NOTE/

The surgery is open 8am to 6.30pm, Monday to Friday.  The surgery’s front doors remain closed as we need to be able to manage the flow of patients in and out of the surgery.  Although the main doors are closed, the surgery is very much open and so if you are unwell or have significant illnesses you should still call us and ask us for help.  We are continuing to operate the telephone triage system with a call back from a GP.  If a GP feels it would be helpful they may also suggest setting up a video call or they may ask you to come into the surgery.

Our nursing team are still continuing to see patients for urgent blood tests, ECG’s etc and we have processes to ensure childhood immunisation and other essential care continues.  It is critical that if children are due vaccinations they are brought to the surgery to ensure they are protected from other illnesses.  Any adult who has not had their MMR or is due the pneumococcal vaccination, should contact the surgery to arrange this.

If you are seen at the surgery your clinician may need to wear gloves, gown and mask so do not be alarmed. Patients coming into the surgery for a pre-booked appointment will be brought in through the fire exit door near the pharmacy entrance and will be screened to assess if you have a cough, temperature or loss of sense of taste or smell, and be given a face visor to wear.

In order to be able to book telephone consultations over the phone, request prescriptions and look at test results, please register for Patient Access. You can call reception to arrange this and we can take ID via Facetime/video call. 

Patients can also now book online consultations with a GP using e-Consults.  Please see the e-Consults banner at the top of this page.

Please ensure the surgery has your mobile number so that we can keep you updated as we will continue to text patients with the latest information.

We are having to source our own at extremely high costs so you must bring your own face mask or face covering. Patients who do not bring a face mask will have the option to buy one at the Charing Pharmacy or to buy one at the surgery door for £1.

If you have previously been given a mask at the door, please keep it in case you have to come back again in the future and can then reuse the mask. 

Should you wish to make your own face mask, instructions can be found on the BBC website at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-52609777

The surgery is unable to provide exemption letter for the wearing of masks. Government advice about exemptions can be found at  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/disabled-people-exempt-from-wearing-face-coverings-under-new-government-guidance, and exemption cards can be downloaded from the government website at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own. The government has clarified that there is no need for practices to be involved in this process.  

Please note the pharmacy will NOT be closing due to lockdown on 5th November. The pharmacy is open all day (Monday 9am to 6pm, Tuesday – Friday 8am to 6pm, Saturday 9am to 1pm). Access is through the main pharmacy doors and we ask that patients observe the 2m rule and we do not have more than 2 patients in the pharmacy at any time. In line with government guidance, patients MUST wear a mask when coming into the pharmacy. 

If you have a cough or fever, please do not come to the pharmacy but ask a friend, family member or volunteer to collect your prescription. If you have a cough and/or fever and have to come to the pharmacy to collect the prescription yourself, please stay in your car and call the pharmacy so that a member of the pharmacy team will bring your prescription to your car. This service should only be used by patients who have cold or fever symptoms and cannot get another person to collect their prescription and must not be used for any other reason.

We are now sending text messages to patients to advise that their prescription is ready to collect. Please do not attend the pharmacy until you have received a text. If you would like to be part of this service then please ensure you inform the pharmacy of your mobile number. 

We are with you is a local talking therpy provider. Get free, confidential support with alcohol, drugs or mental health. They are also providing webinars. Click here to take you to their site to register for their webinars.

The Ashford Rural Primary Care Network (Charing, Tenterden, Hamstreet and Woodchurch Surgeries) has created a website with helpful information about where to find help and support during these difficult times: https://www.connectingashfordrural.co.uk/ 

If you have an urgent need that cannot be met through existing support networks, you can contact the NHS Volunteer Responders who are able to help those patients that fall into one of the following categories:

      • People aged 70 years and older with underlying health conditions
      • If you are in the ‘extremely vulnerable’ to COVID 19 group and have been sent a letter asking you to shield from the virus
      • People who are pregnant 
      • If you are newly socially vulnerable as a result of COVID 19
      • People who have a disability as defined by the Equality Act 2010
      • Others with high-risk conditions could include:
        • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
        • People with serious heart conditions
        • People who are immunocompromised including because of cancer treatment
        • People of any age with severe obesity e.g. body mass index (BMI) over 40
        • Certain underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, such as those with diabetes, dementia, renal failure, or liver disease might also be at risk

If you meet any of these criteria and need help collecting shopping, medication or other essential supplies or just want a telephone ‘check in and chat’ to help prevent loneliness, please call 0808 196 3646 (8am to 8pm).

Additionally volunteers support can be requested from Kent Together by calling on 03000 41 92 92 or at https://www.kent.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/health/coronavirus/kent-together. It is a 24 hour service. Volunteers can help with:

      • Making sure you have enough food and supplies
      • Walking your dog
      • Picking up prescriptions
      • Putting out the bins
      • Taking in parcels
      • Making sure you have someone to talk to (by phone, Skype or Facetime)
      • Checking if any planned appointments have been cancelled before you travel
      • Helping to make sure you have simple recipes to hand
      • Preparing meals for the freezer

This may be a worrying time and some may find they are struggling with their mental health. Please visit https://www.kent.gov.uk/social-care-and-health/health/mental-health for the link to how to self-refer for psychological therapies - these can be done online and over the phone too.

Look out for your vulnerable neighbours, family and friends. Please if you know you have a housebound neighbour, check they have enough food.

For most COVID 19 will be a mild illness. The purpose of trying to reduce the rate that people catch it by isolating those affected is to try to keep the NHS running to be able to care for those who are very sick.

Thank you to all our patients who have been so supportive of the surgery and pharmacy over the past few weeks.  Our primary focus is patient and staff safety, to stay open and accessible for our patients and to ensure any patient that need to be seen by either a GP or nurse will be seen.  We have been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of our patients and now have a wonderful array of scrubs which have been made by patients with material donated by patients as well as being given mask, gloves, face shields and aprons and some very welcome chocolates and cakes!

Covid-19 and your information – Updated on 28th July 2020