Coronavirus News

Please also check our news page for up to date information

Notice to all Hadleigh Boxford Group Practice patients – Important Information updated 16th June.

We would like to update all our patients regarding the recent developments in the spread of Covid-19 (Coronavirus).

We are continuously reviewing how we can deliver our services and taking into consideration the importance of social distancing and delaying the spread of the virus.

To support this we have had to take some important steps and changes: 


  • We will be checking the temperature of all patients entering the building to ensure that no-one has a fever. This will be done using a no-touch infrared thermometer and it takes seconds!
  • We are now strongly encouraging all those attending the surgery to please wearing a face covering or mask. These can be made (click here for information or here for instructions) or purchased online or from individuals in Hadleigh who are making coverings.
  • Wearing these masks does not prevent you from getting coronavirus. Instead, it prevents spread of droplets and possible virus from the wearer to other people in their vacinity. The more people wear masks, the less likely it is that viruses could be released into the environment.
  • All our face-to-face appointments will be scheduled at the Hadleigh Health Centre.  Boxford Mill Surgery dispensary will remain open but we will only see patients at Hadleigh where we have adequate isolation facilities and staff support
  • We have had to suspend our online appointment booking system for the ‘on the day appointments’ – this will ensure that every call is triaged by a healthcare professional before the patient attends. 
  • All patients who have already booked an appointment in advance will be telephoned by a healthcare professional prior to them attending.
  • We have turned off our self- checking in screen to avoid the risk of spread.
  • Until further notice, all prescriptions will continue to be issued for one month.

Track and trace SCAM warning

The new track and trace government scheme may prove to be an opportunity for scammers to con people out of personal information. Fortunately, there is helpful website that can explain how you can stay safe and alert to these scams. Please click here to read more


PRINCIPLE Covid-19 Trial

There is a new trial called the PRINCIPLE trial set up by Oxford. It will involve hundreds of GP practices across the UK. It will enable researchers to look at different treatments such as hydroxychloroquine that could help treat COVID-19 symptoms in older people. Please see our NEWS section on this website, or click here to go to the trial website


Current Covid-19 Guidance

Stay at home and isolate if you have any of the following:


  • A new significant loss of sense of smell or taste
  • A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)
  • A new continuous cough
  • Think you may have coronavirus
  • Living with someone who has these symptoms
  • For anyone in the household who has these symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the      symptoms appeared. Everyone else within the household who remains symptom free still needs to stay at home for 14 days.
  •  For anyone else in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period.
  • DO NOT come down to the surgery, pharmacy or to the hospital if you feel your symptoms are worsening. Please call us at the surgery, or use this website

You can now request a COVID-19 test

  • From 16th May, any patient aged 5 years or above can request an antigen swab test so long as they have any of the three recognised symptoms (temperature, continuous cough, or loss of sense of smell or taste).
  • You need to get the test done in the first 5 days of having symptoms. It’s best to apply for the test in the first 3 days as it may take 1 or 2 days to arrange.
  • The newer covid-19 antibody blood test is not yet available

Please click here to arrange an antigen swab test


Frequently Asked Questions

In response to the ever changing information we are receiving constantly, we thought it would be useful to keep an up to date frequently asked questions page on our website and social media platforms.

Please keep in mind that we cannot provide answers to all questions, and if you need further information please click here. Can we also ask that you try to refrain from contacting the surgery to ask questions that can be answered by clicking here.

Additionally, we are aware that not all of our patients are able to get online to read this information, and so we would be grateful if you could please share this with friends, family, or neighbours who may benefit from this.



Questions & Answers

Q: I have bought an online antibody covid test, but I need more blood for the test than I can get with the included finger pick needle. Please can I book for a formal blood test?

A: Unfortunately no. While we respect your decision to purchase an online test, this is something that you need to do yourself. We can not use NHS resources to help you with a private test.


Q:  I am so confused by the latest guidance, can you please explain it to me?

A: Don't worry, you're not alone! The situation is changing all the time. The most up to date information can be found here


Q: I think I have a medical condition that means I should be shielded, but I have not got a letter

A: We understand this is a real concern for our patients. To ensure no-one is overlooked from being identified as at risk of severe illness from COVID-19, we are running checks on our entire patients database. We are cross-referencing this with regularly updated parameters issued by NHS England and medical experts. We are in the process of contacting each of these patients individually to ensure they are aware they are at higher risk, and that they have access to medication and other essential services.


Q: I have asthma and/or COPD. Please can I have a rescue pack

A: We can appreciate that you, like most people, want to be prepared for any eventuality, including having stand by medicines. However, as a surgery we have already identified and contacted those patients that are in need of rescue packs (based on knowledge of disease severity and past medical history). Having standby medicines is not without risk. If used inappropriately, unwell patients who may otherwise have sought medical help, may instead remain at home and come to MORE harm due to over-reliance on rescue medicines. We would please ask that you do not call and ask for a rescue pack, rather you contact a doctor if you get unwell. Thank you


Q: I am not asthmatic, but I sometimes need an inhaler, please may I have one issued?

A: We are seeing a growing number of patients requesting medication either earlier than normal, or as a “just in case” medication. To try to manage this surge in requests we would say that if you have a medication on repeat you can, of course, request this WHEN it is due (monthly prescriptions only please). If, however, you do not have a medication on repeat that you would now like then please consider if you have a GENUINE medical need for it. If so please ask to discuss with a clinician and we would be happy to help you out.


Q: Please can I have my medication delivered?

A: The free delivery service was set up to provide a solution for people who are house bound with no other way of obtaining prescribed medication. We simply do not have the capacity or man power to increase our delivery service any further to other patients of the practice nor customers of Mill Pharmacy. Please may we suggest that you contact friends or family for assistance or the newly set-up Facebook community groups in your area.


QI can’t buy paracetamol as there is shortage (also face masks and hand sanitisers). Please may I have a prescription for this?

A: We will not be issuing any prescriptions for masks or hand sanitisers. If you have required a prescription for paracetamol in the past 2 years we are willing to issue a prescription for 30 tablets. We are having to limit this number as we are also experiencing a shortage. Thank you for your understanding.


Q: I am unsure what is happening about my hospital out-patient appointment. Please can you chase this up?

A: As you will be aware, hospitals have been instructed to cancel all non-urgent operations and move clinics to video or telephone appointments due to the concern of coronavirus. As such this is placing a huge strain on the hospitals and long waiting times are inevitable. We would ask that you give our secondary care colleges some time to sort things out. If you still wish to contact them, please do so by calling this number 0300 3034075.


Q: Can I have a sick note for self-isolation as my family member has symptoms?

A: In light of the current Coronavirus situation, it is inevitable that a number of employees may be required to self-isolate themselves at home even in the absence of any symptoms of an illness.  In these cases, your Doctor will not be able to issue a sick note as the time off work is not due to an illness, and isn’t affecting your ability to work, but rather is a precaution to avoid transmission of any illness that is yet to produce symptoms.

There is a new online service from 111 to request a self sick note in these circumstances. Please click here


Q: I have heard drugs like ibuprofen and naproxen should be avoided as they may make coronavirus worse. Is this true?

A: The current advice says unpublished data from France, which the UK authorities have not seen, has led to the French Health minister advising against the use of ibuprofen or naproxen (“NSAID drugs”). There is no current published evidence that NSAIDs have an impact on COVID-19.

However, the NICE/Committee of Human Medicines (an advisory body of the MHRA) have been asked to review the evidence. In the meantime, those with suspected COVID-19 should use paracetamol in preference to NSAIDs. Those on NSAIDs for other medical reasons (e.g.. arthritis) should not stop them.


Q: I hear that drugs like Ramipril are not safe

A: Drugs like Ramipril and losartan belong to a family of medicines used to treat high blood pressure, heart failure and other heart conditions. There is no published evidence to currently suggest they worsen COVID-19 infections and so the recommendation is to continue with these medicines. We know that controlling high blood pressure or other heart conditions is very important in reducing the risk of COVID-19


We will of course keep you updated as new information comes out.

Thank you all for your support

Doctors at Hadleigh Boxford Group Practice