COVID Vaccination Status

Regarding certificates or evidence about your COVID vaccination status.

We are unable to issue this certificate at the practice.

Please see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/demonstrating-your-covid-19-vaccination-status-when-travelling-abroad for further information.

Proof of your vaccination status will be available in the NHS app from 17th May 2021, and in some of the other apps that provide you with Patient online services. 

The NHS app can be downloaded from:

If you have not used it before, there is a self-registration process within the app to create an “NHS login” as per https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-services/online-services/nhs-log-in/

If you already have access/ login details for patient online services, for example “Patient Access”, you may use this.

Alternatively, you can call the NHS helpline on 119 (from 17 May) and ask for a letter to be posted to you. This must be at least 5 days after you’ve completed your course of the vaccine.  The letter may to take another 5 days to reach you, or more if postal services are affected.  Please take account of this when making your plans. 

Kind regards,

Cowley Road Medical Practice

Think COVID!

Every day we receive a significant number of calls from patients experiencing cough symptoms or fever who are not thinking that they have COVID because their symptoms are not severe. Unlike what may come across in the news and media, most people with COVID will have mild or moderate symptoms. So please, if you have a new cough or fever, no matter how mild, or a loss in your sense of taste or smell, think COVID, isolate at home and arrange a COVID test. You may have only one of those symptoms – for example, just a fever, and still have COVID.

Further advice about managing your symptoms can be found at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ or by calling 111.

To arrange a test, go to https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or call 119.

Coronavirus Vaccination

We are receiving many telephone queries about coronavirus vaccinations. These are being offered for residents of Oxford city in a number of sites across the city, rather than at individual practices. We do not have vaccines at the surgery. Our patients will be invited to receive a vaccine in line with a priority list set out by the national body responsible for vaccination. We cannot change the order. Please be patient – you will receive your invitation in due course when it is your turn.

Coronavirus Vaccination for Health Care Staff and Social Care Workers

If you are a health care worker and your employer has not already made arrangements for you to receive a COVID vaccine, please email your details to [email protected] with details of your role, and your employer. This information will be coded and passed to the relevant bodies who are organising vaccines for staff.

COVID Self-Isolation Rules

If you have symptoms of COVID, you should start to self-isolate and arrange for a test. You should remain in self isolation from the day your symptoms started and the next 10 full days. Your household members must also self-isolate for 10 days from the start of your symptoms. They should not get a test unless they have symptoms. A negative test during their period of isolation does not mean that your contacts can return to work or normal activities. If you still feel unwell at the end of 10 days, you should seek medical advice, and not return to work. You may return to work if your only symptoms are cough or loss of sense of smell. The full guidance can be found here

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

Oxford edges towards a red alert as coronavirus cases double in a week


People in Oxford are being urged to follow preventative measures after the number of coronavirus cases doubled in the space of a week.

In the 7 days up to 25 September, there were 67 confirmed cases in Oxford, up from 33 in the previous week.

This means that the weekly rate for Oxford currently stands at 43.9 cases per 100,000 population, putting the city on an amber alert status, but edging closer to a red alert level. Cases per 100,000 are now at their highest rate since May.

The increase is predominantly among young people in the 18-24 age bracket. The rise is being seen across the city and is not focused on one particular area.

Ansaf Azhar, Oxfordshire County Council’s Director for Public Health said: “While this latest rise in cases mirrors what is happening nationally, Oxford has seen a doubling of cases in the space of a week, which is very concerning.

“We have recently seen many other parts of the country go into lockdown. This is something we all want to avoid. But if cases continue to rise at the rate they have been doing in Oxford, then we may have no choice but to impose tough local restrictions.

“My plea is a simple one – keep your distance, wash your hands, wear a mask, and ensure you are adhering to the rule of six.

“It’s up to all of us to bring the virus under control. The latest figures are a stark warning that we must act now. We need to slow the rate before it’s too late.”

You can find out more about how to keep yourself safe, and the latest number of cases in Oxfordshire, at www.oxfordshire.gov.uk/stopthespread.

COVID – What to do? Should I have a test?


What do I do if I think I might have coronavirus?

If you think you might have coronavirus or you’ve been in close contact with someone who has it:

– stay at home and avoid close contact with other people

– do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital

– use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do next

The 111 coronavirus service will tell you if you need to continue to stay at home (self-isolate) or if you need medical help.

If you’ve recently travelled abroad, see the coronavirus advice for travellers to find out what to do.

Further information is available on nhs.uk/coronavirus.


Do I need to wear a face covering?

Face coverings are now mandatory in public transport and shops and several other public places. The guidance is here (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own)

There are a few people who can be exempt on medical grounds which are listed in the guidance above. If this applies to you, you can find details of the exemption process in the link. GPs are not involved in this decision.

We are confident that there is good evidence to support the use of face coverings to protect others from transmission of coronavirus. We ask that everyone attending the surgery wears a face covering. The only exceptions are very small children and those with valid medical reasons not to wear one.


What is track and trace?

Track and trace is the NHS service set up to identify those who have been in contact with a person who has had coronavirus. This may not be someone you know, but simply someone you have come into contact by chance. If you are contacted by NHS track and trace, you should self isolate for 14 days. As long as you have no symptoms, other members of your household or support bubble are not required to self isolate. Here are further details.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/nhs-test-and-trace-if-youve-been-in-contact-with-a-person-who-has-coronavirus/


Should I have a coronavirus test?

If you have symptoms of fever and general unwellness, particularly if you have a cough or breathing problems or a loss of sense of smell, but sometimes also if you don’t have these symptoms, we would encourage you to arrange a test. It is always better to know. This cannot be done through the GP practice. You will need to contact NHS 11 directly. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested

If you have been in contact with someone who has got coronavirus, you must self isolate for 14 days. If you develop symptoms, you should arrange for a test. A negative test sooner than 14 days does not mean you can return to work or usual social contacts any more quickly.


Can I have a coronavirus antibody test?

Although antibody testing is available, we are not offering it at the practice, unless there is a clinical reason determined by a GP. Although many people are curious to know whether they have had coronavirus in the past, an antibody test cannot reliably tell you this. Many people who have had coronavirus have a negative antibody test. We also do not know whether having antibodies against coronavirus will protect a person from getting the disease again.

Do you need practical help?

Are you worried about receiving your medication or about getting food during the coronavirus outbreak?

Are you worried about a neighbour or a relative?

The practice will be making contact with many of our patients in the next few weeks to put you in touch with sources of support if you need them.

In the meantime, you may wish to look at the website https://oxfordtogether.org/.

You can register yourself or a relative or someone you are concerned about for support.


Last updated 18 Jan 2021

Changes to Practice Processes in the Light of Coronavirus / COVID-19 – 27 July 2020

For information about coronavirus, we would encourage patients to first look at the following websites https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19 or https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus.

Please only ask to speak to a clinician with your query about coronavirus if it cannot be answered online.

We aim to keep our patients and our staff well. In line with the advice we have received, we wish to limit the number of people entering the building during the coronavirus outbreak to limit the possible spread of infection.

Please do not come to the building if you have a cough, or fever, or breathlessness, or other upper respiratory symptoms such as running nose or sore throat.

I am worried that I might have coronavirus. What should I do?

If you have symptoms suggestive of coronavirus (a fever, cough or breathlessness), or any other concerns about the illness, please look at the NHS 111 coronavirus website. You will find information there about what to do if you are unwell, how to self-isolate and what to do if you might need to go to hospital.

If your question is not answered there, please call 111 for advice.

Please only ask to speak to the GPs if your question is not answered elsewhere.

Do you need practical help?

Are you worried about receiving your medication or about getting food during the coronavirus outbreak?

Are you worried about a neighbour or a relative?

The practice will be making contact with many of our patients in the next few weeks to put you in touch with sources of support if you need them.

In the meantime, you may wish to look at the website https://oxfordtogether.org/

You can register yourself or a relative or someone you are concerned about for support.

I am off work because of coronavirus. I need a sick note. What shall I do?

If you have been advised to self-isolate by 111, they will provide you with guidance about what steps to take. If we have advised you to stay off work because of coronavirus, we will send you a text message accordingly. This will be recorded in your medical record. This text message can be used as evidence for your employer. Once the outbreak is over, you can bring the message to the patient care coordinators at our practice reception, and they will be able to issue you with a letter at that stage.

I need a routine appointment to see a doctor, what should I do?

On the advice of the NHS in England, we have been advised to suspend all routine face to face appointments. If you already have an appointment booked, then the GP or nurse or pharmacist will call you on the morning or afternoon on which your appointment was due. They will discuss with you whether you need to be seen in person and make the necessary arrangements if so.

All new appointments will be made as telephone appointments in the first place. The doctors will be happy to continue with routine issues in this way.

I need an urgent appointment with the doctor, what should I do?

The duty doctor system will continue to operate in the usual way. Please call the practice and ask to speak to the duty doctor.

I need my medication. What shall I do?

Medication requests will continue to be dealt with in the normal way. Prescriptions will be issued electronically to pharmacies, so please identify a nominated pharmacy when you request your medication. There may be a longer delay than usual in processing your request.

I need to see the nurse for dressings/injections, what should I do?

Our nurses will call you and make arrangements to see you if necessary. If possible, we will teach you or your carers how to change dressings so as to avoid your visits to the surgery.

I need a blood test or an ECG. What should I do?

If your blood test is to monitor a medication (such as warfarin, or methotrexate or clozapine) then we will continue to offer you a blood test. If the test is not urgent, we will suspend these investigations until we are advised to resume offering them. The doctors may request urgent tests which they may arrange themselves.

I have an appointment with the midwife. Should I still attend?

At present, routine antenatal appointments will continue to be held at the practice in the usual way. If you have fever or cough or breathlessness, please do not come to the practice. Please telephone the practice if you will not be attending.

My baby has immunisations booked. Will they go ahead as normal?

For the present time, we will endeavour to continue with routine immunisation of babies. Please do not attend if the baby, or its caregiver is unwell with cough, or fever or breathlessness. Please keep to a minimum the number of people accompanying the baby to the appointment.

I have an appointment booked with Debbie, or Ella or the counsellors. Should I attend as usual?

At the present time, we have unfortunately been advised to minimise all face to face appointments for both patient and staff safety. We are however still able to consult with patients remotely via telephone. If you need to cancel and appointment or update your contact details, please contact the practice.

What Do We Know About Coronavirus (COVID 19)

Updated 29 Feb 2020

What is Coronavirus?

Corona viruses are not new. They are familiar causes of colds and upper respiratory tract infections. They can cause mild illnesses, but are also responsible for severe infections (like SARS and MERS.)

This virus is new. The first cluster of cases were identified in China on 31.12.2019, so all we know about how the virus spreads is from data obtained since then.

How is it spread?

The virus probably spread from animals to humans first (this is common for coronaviruses) but now it can be spread from human to human.  It seems that the main way of spread is respiratory – by droplets inhaled from someone who is infected and who coughs or sneezes. There is a possibility that it can be spread from stool (poo.)  There are a few people in the world who tested positive who had diarrhoea but no respiratory symptoms, though most with diarrhoea also had respiratory symptoms.  It can sit in the body for between 2 and 14 days and spread before someone has symptoms (this is called the incubation period.)

What are the symptoms?

Most people who have COVID 19 complain of fever (having a temperature), cough, muscle ache, fatigue and shortness of breath when the illness starts.

Is it serious?

In most cases, coronavirus causes a mild illness, like a cold. In a few people, it can cause pneumonia (a deep chest infection that might require hospital admission), and in a few people it can cause a very severe pneumonia which might require care in ITU. Some people have died from COVID 19. The people who appear to be more seriously affected are people with underlying lung or heart disease, or cancer, or who are immunosuppressed. Pregnant ladies also seem to be more severely affected. Children do not seem to be so severely affected.  The CFR (case fatality rate) is the number of people per 100 who are likely to die because of the infection. The current quoted CFR is about 2%, but we don’t know for sure, as we don’t know how many people have been infected with a mild illness. Also, the virus mutates (changes) as it spreads around the world, so in some areas it seems to have a higher CFR than in other places.

What are the treatments?

There are no treatments. All that can be done when a person is infected is to support their body to fight the infection by itself. This can be simple measures such as controlling the fever with paracetamol and drinking lots of fluids in a mild illness, all the way to supporting the body with ventilation in intensive care if the infection is very severe.

What can I do to protect myself from getting COVID 19?

Cases in the UK are still very rare. As of 28.2.20, 5986 people had been tested in England, and only 20 had a positive test result.  500 people in Scotland have been tested and none have the disease. They have respiratory infections caused by other organisms. Some of those affected are health professionals.

To protect yourself, practice good hygiene. Wash hands after coughing or sneezing, and before and after preparing food and going to the toilet. Cough and sneeze into a folded elbow. If you use a tissue, dispose of it straight way.  Carry alcohol gel so that you can clean your hands when you are out and about.

What do I do if I have symptoms?

Seek advice from the practice website, and the government’s coronavirus information pages.

If you have mild upper respiratory symptoms it may be necessary to isolate yourself. There is advice about this here: https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/02/20/what-is-self-isolation-and-why-is-it-important/

If you are breathless and feel very unwell, please call the practice so a doctor can advise you how to proceed.

If you are concerned you might have COVID19, please call 111 to receive advice.

What might happen next?

Experts are not sure yet, but in the globalised world we live in, we are likely to find the infection spreading into the UK.  If it does, it is likely to affect hundreds of thousands of people. If this happens, the advice will change. The health system will move to a different way of working, and schools and offices may be closed and public gatherings cancelled. There will be more information about this if this situation arises.

What is Cowley Road Medical Practice doing about it?

We are keeping up to date and preparing for cases, following the advice given to us by Public Health England and other sources.

Where can I find out further information?

The best sources of advice are:

UK government: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

World Health Organisation (WHO): https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

The American Centre for Disease Control (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.htm