New Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)

New Coronavirus (2019-nCoV, COVID-19)

On 13.03.2020 the NHS has instructed all GP practices to start "Telephone First".

This means patients must first have a telephone consultation with the doctor. This can also be a video consultation.

If the doctor feels it is essential to see the patient in the surgery, then the doctor will arrange a face-to-face appointment. 

You can obtain health advice, request telephone consultation, repeat prescription, medical certificate or letter, or arrange administrative help, via:


available online 24 hours, 7 days a week 



Coronavirus* tests



There are two kinds of tests for Coronavirus infection.


  1. Test for whether you have the virus infection now.

This test is now open to any member of public who has symptoms of coronavirus.

It requires swabs from the nose and throat.

You can watch a video of how the test is done:

This can be done by a trained professional at a testing site. Or by yourself or a family member at home. 

  • This looks for the virus itself. It is called Antigen test.
  • The test is useful when you are having new symptoms, or soon after you have been in contact with another person with infection.
  • The virus shows up in the nose and throat from day 3 to day 7 of contact with the virus – that is the best time to do this test.


You should request this test yourself. When booking the test, the NHS may ask for an Identity Check. Your GP cannot refer you.

To request this test:



  1. Test for whether you have had the virus infection in the past.

This test is open to NHS staff and care home workers, and some patients in care.

It requires a blood sample from a vein in your arm.


  • This looks for the body’s reaction to the virus. It is called Antibody test.
  • This test is useful if you once had symptoms, but was not tested for the virus antigen at that time.
  • The test is best done at least a month after the symptoms – the immune system takes two to four weeks to develop antibody. (By that time the virus antigen has disappeared.)
  • Some people catch the virus but have little or no symptoms. If you are one of them, this test can also show you had caught the virus some time ago.


To request this test:

  • Ask your NHS workplace, or
  • Ask your GP surgery (Your GP will have to refer you to the hospital and you may need to show you work in the NHS or a care home)

If you do not qualify for the NHS antibody test, some private clinics in London offer antibody test. If you are interested you may search on the internet for "coronavirus antibody test London". 



* A word about vocabulary

To make this easier to read, we have used the word ‘Coronavirus’ above. Technically, there are many different Coronaviruses. The particular virus that is causing the pandemic is SARS-CoV-2 or nCov-2019. The disease it causes is called Covid-19. Really, they are pointing to

Coronavirus tests for NHS staff and the public

Advice to NHS staff - antibody test

Assessment for NHS staff - risk at workplace



Quit for Covid


From Tuesday 9 April 2020, a GP HOT HUB is open in Haringey.

This is designed to:

  • review patients who have Covid related illness; or
  • review patients who may have Covid with another urgent medical problem.

If you have an illness that fits into these two groups:

  • you will not be seen at your GP practice;
  • either your GP practice or 111 may refer you into the Hot Hub service.

Patient Information leaflet for Hot Hub BG

Patient Information leaflet for Hot Hub BG

The patients who are at highest risk of becoming seriously ill from viral infection, should receive a letter from the NHS.

If you (or someone you know) have not received the letter, you may view a copy here:

Vulnerable groups letter from government 2020-03-21

Patients who are shielding (i.e. advised to stay at home for the whole time), and do not have family or friends that can help, can register at:






NOTE: Each government department may have criteria on who can access help, or what sort of help one can get.

If you do not fit into these criteria, there may be VOLUNTARY GROUPS near you who can help.

At Alexandra Surgery we do not have our own Voluntary group. However, if you live in this area and you have organised one, do please let us know.
Email to 

Coronavirus and pregnancy

Advice from Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists UK:

Coronavirus and pregnancy - RCOG UK

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