Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the main symptoms
  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms.

What to do if you have any symptoms
If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus:

  1. Get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible.
  2. Stay at home and do not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test.

Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must also stay at home until you get your result.

Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if you are worried about your symptoms or you are not sure what to do.

Call 111 if you cannot get help online. Do not go to places like a GP surgery, hospital or pharmacy.

Babies and children

Call 111 if you’re worried about a baby or child under 5.

If your child seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there’s something seriously wrong, call 999.

Do not delay getting help if you’re worried. Trust your instincts.

Get more advice about coronavirus in children.

How long to isolate

If you have symptoms or have tested positive for coronavirus, you’ll usually need to self-isolate for at least 10 days.

You’ll usually need to self-isolate for 14 days if:

  • someone you live with has symptoms or tested positive
  • someone in your support bubble has symptoms or tested positive
  • you’ve been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace

Get an isolation note for your employer

Please be aware that we will not be issuing sick notes to cover self-isolation periods.  If you need a note for this please visit the 111 website and follow their instructions.  If you require a sick note to cover other illnesses, please use our eConsult system.

111 Isolation Note

Ordering prescriptions

We ask that patients order medication online where possible.  If you are not set up with patient access you should be able to easily download the NHS App at home without attending the surgery. Please search online for NHS App.

Those who have access to the internet, but not the NHS App or Patient Access, then please use eConsult and choose ‘other’ in the option for requesting sick notes, GP letters or test requests, and list your medication in the box.  Please ensure there is a medication name, we will not accept descriptions of medication, e.g. ‘white pill’.   The main reception desk will no longer be open for prescription ordering or routine queries. This is to help prevent the spread of the virus.

All patients are now being asked to nominate a designated pharmacy to have their medication requests directed to, you can change your nomination at anytime via the online apps or by contact us via telephone.

Face coverings
If you can, wear something that covers your nose and mouth in places where it’s hard to stay away from other people.There are some places where you must wear a face covering, such as:

  • on public transport
  • in shops, bars and restaurants
  • when you go to GP or hospital appointments or visit someone in hospital

GPs are unfortunately not in a position to provide individual risk assessments or letters for patients who feel that they should be exempt from wearing a face mask.

Gateshead & South Tyneside Local Medical Committee has therefore prepared this guidance note as the statutory body that advises and supports all GPs and practice teams across the area.

The government guidance on exemptions suggests there is no requirement for evidence for exemption therefore it is sufficient for an individual to self-declare this.

If you feel you are unable to wear a mask for auditory/sensory/breathing reasons, please visit and download an exemption card.

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