Important information about the coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updated on 28th July 2020 at 8:00 am



Update 16/07/2020

Change in rules regarding face coverings

The Government have announced that from July 24th 2020 everyone is required to wear a face covering when entering a shop or business.

This is in addition to wearing one on Public Transport which has been mandatory for some time now.

If you feel you are unable to wear a mask for auditory/sensory/breathing reasons, please click here to download an exemption card  to show if  you are asked why you are not wearing one.

Please note, it is NOT the responsibility or the role of the Surgery to issue anyone with an exemption letter or certificate. Please visit the website above for more information.


Update 16/06/2020

Face covering

It is a requirement for patients to wear a face covering when entering the surgery. If you come to collect a prescription or have an appointment we would be grateful if you could come with your face covering on – covering your nose, mouth and chin. This can be in the form of a mask, scarf or handkerchief of any sort of fabric.



Dr Mark Dornan, Chair of Newcastle Gateshead CCG has recorded a helpful video as a North East GP, outlining how to get healthcare during the coronavirus outbreak

Practice update 2/6/20

To enable us to gradually resume routine services we are now operating our COVID hot site in collaboration with Bellingham practice, from Bellingham. This enables us, from Tuesday 2nd June to gradually re-establish some services at Humshaugh.

For the foreseeable future we shall continue to ask patients to collect prescriptions from our dispensary at Wark, if this causes difficulty please speak to a dispenser as we may be able to arrange an alternative such as shop drop off or home delivery. We need to manage our workload in a way that is both resilient in the current climate and crucially, operate safely for both patients and staff.

All contact should continue to be by telephone or online through eConsult. Please do not attend the surgery unless asked to do so by a doctor or a nurse or to collect a pre ordered prescription from Wark.


Any patient suspected of having COVID-19 and requiring a face to face consultation, will be asked to attend Bellingham where we now have a dedicated area, within Bellingham Practice grounds, but separate to the Practice.  This to protect patients and staff as best we can, keeping suspect COVID patients entirely separate from non COVID patients

GP appointments

To reduce your chances of catching COVID-19 and reduce pressure on GP services during this busy time, appointments are being carried out over the phone. If there is a clinical need for you to come into the practice you will be offered a GP appointment at our Wark site. This will help minimise risk while continuing to ensure people get the care and advice they need.

We are very grateful for everyone’s support in the fight against Coronavirus. However we do encourage you to make contact with us if you have immediate or persistent health conditions. Please do not delay seeking medical attention under the assumption we are too busy or due to your concerns regarding exposure to COVID-19. The reasoning behind setting up the COVID site at Humshaugh is so that we can maintain Wark as a ‘Cold site’, where if required, after telephone triage with a GP, you can be seen face to face.


Collecting your medication

Due to current pressures caused by Coronavirus our dispensary is working under significant pressure and we are experiencing delays to our wholesaler orders.

As such all repeat requests are taking 3-4 days to process. If you require home delivery this shall be a week after ordering. If you are in an at risk group avoid collecting your prescription yourself. Ask a relative or a neighbour to collect for you and try to avoid multiple trips. We ask that if you do come in to collect your medication, please respect our staff and observe the social distancing measures put in place.

Please note we are not accepting early repeat requests, orders for more than 28 days supply or requests for just in case medication. These actions may put a strain on the supply chain and exacerbate any potential shortages. We are adhering guidelines given to all practices by government.

If you have online access, please order your prescription through this system.

WARK IS OPEN FOR PRESCRIPTION COLLECTIONS  8AM-6PM Monday, Wednesday and Friday And 8AM-5.30PM Tuesday and Thursday.

If you are not able to get to Wark, please contact us.


Returning to School

As many children across the UK are set to go back to school, A number of resources have been put together online, which focus on supporting the wellbeing and understanding of staff, children and young people as they return to school and a ‘new normal’.


Referral for further care

To read a message from Dr Graham Syers, Clinical Chair Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group explaining what you can expect if you require a referral to hospital in the coming weeks

click here  referral info for patients

or watch the video below

Steroid injections

These are not currently being carried out.  If you have concerns please arrange a routine telephone consultation with Dr Wright.

Antenatal and INR clinics

You will be called prior to your appointment to confirm where your appointment will take place.

Health Visitor Drop-in Clinic

This has been cancelled until further notice.  Please contact your Health Visitor Team by phone if needed on 01434 220651

We appreciate your  patience during this difficult time.

If you have a new and continuous cough, or fever or loss of/change in smell or taste you are advised to self isolate and stay at home for a period of  7 days or longer if you still have symptoms. Household members  should  self isolate and stay at home for 14 days from the 1st day your symptoms started.

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home.

Call the Practice to speak to a GP or use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

Only call 111 if you cannot get help using the online coronavirus service 

Stay At Home advice can be found here

Everyone is being reminded to follow Public Health England advice to:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
  • Stop all non-essential contact with others and stop all unnecessary travel
  • Start working from home where you possibly can

More information can be found on the NHS website here

Access to patient records – To help the NHS to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, NHSX and NHS Digital are improving access to medical records and patient information. This will help them to more safely treat and advise patients who are not attending their usual GP practice, who have called NHS 111, or who are receiving care in another setting.

There are reports in the French press that ibuprofen may increase risks with coronavirus. PHE says there is no published evidence that ibuprofen increases the risk of catching COVID-19 or of getting worse complications. However, if you have a temperature/fever you should treat this with Paracetamol as a fist line treatment. If you take Ibuprofen for a long term condition you should continue to do so.

ACEi or ARBs
There has been some speculation that ACE inhibitors/ARBs may further increase the risk of serious illness/death from COVID-19
The Council on Hypertension strongly recommend that physicians and patients should continue treatment with their usual anti-hypertensive therapy because there is no clinical or scientific evidence to suggest that treatment with ACEi or ARBs should be discontinued because of the COVID-19 infection.


General NHS advice


Pituitary/ adrenal insufficiency (including steroid sick day rules)


Underlying lung disease (British Lung Foundation)


People with Asthma


People with Diabetes


Sick day rules T1 diabetes


Sick day rules T2 diabetes


People affected by Stroke


Pregnant women


Children/young people T1 diabetes


People with Heart/circulatory disease


Older people


Young people with anxiety


Adults with anxiety


People with Rheumatoid Arthritis


People with cancer


People with inflammatory bowel disease


People with Parkinson’s disease


People with Multiple Sclerosis


People with liver disease and liver transplant


People with kidney disease including dialysis


People with epilepsy