Corona Virus Information


Update: 27th March 2020: read on for new arrangements about appointments and getting your prescriptions.

To minimise the risk of spreading infection we ask that you do not attend the surgery (for any reason, including collecting prescriptions), if:

  • you have a new cough or fever
  • you’ve been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 (coronavirus).

In either of these instances do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Call NHS 111 or use their online symptom checker at the 111 coronavirus online service 

If you call us about your symptoms we will ask you the same questions so it will save time if you do this first.  We will do it on the phone for patients who can’t get online.

If you have checked your symptoms and they do not appear to be related to Coronavirus, one of our doctors will triage your call and if you need to be seen we will bring you into the Surgery in a special afternoon surgery.  

New arrangements at Portesham Surgery as of 27th March 2020:

Doctors’ appointments:

  • All our initial doctors’ appointments are being done by telephone. If our doctors feel you do need to be examined face to face by a doctor about a non-Covid-19 condition, this appointment will be in the morning.
  • If you have already booked an appointment please contact us as soon as possible to confirm whether you wish to convert it to a telephone consultation or to cancel it for the time being if it is not urgent
  • If it was an afternoon or evening appointment we will rearrange it for a morning telephone appointment.

  • Any patients with respiratory symptoms will be seen in the afternoon.  This is to minimise the risk of spreading the infection between infected and uninfected patients.
  • to avoid patients booking a face-to-face appointment without checking any respiratory symptoms, we have changed our SystmOnline appointments to telephone appointments only. If you think you do need to be examined you will need to telephone us to speak to a receptionist, or you could do an eConsultation (see below).

Nurse & HCA appointments: 

All non-urgent nurse appointments (eg for travel immunisations, smear tests and vitamin B12 injections) are being cancelled.

  • Urgent face-to-face procedures (such as dressings and INR tests) will be carried out in the mornings only. If you are shielding or unable to get to the surgery without putting yourself or your driver at risk, please contact us as soon as possible so we can make alternative arrangements for you.


We will continue to follow NHS advice and issue one month’s supply of medication at a time.  If we prescribe more now, as many community pharmacies have done, this creates supply shortages (as we have all seen with loo rolls!). We need to have the stock here to prescribe when patients need it urgently, not sitting in someone’s kitchen cabinet unused.

Because of last week’s supply difficulties, for any ad-hoc orders please give us as much notice as possible – ideally one week. Most people order when they collect (or we will order it for you if someone else is delivering it) which is ideal, especially at the moment. See below for safe ways to collect your medication or to have them delivered.

We are cancelling all routine medication reviews and will continue to issue your repeat medications even if you are overdue for review.  If you are past your annual review date the GP will check your medical record and may telephone you for a medication review.

Collection of Medication:

  • Please collect all prescriptions in the mornings (before 1pm) wherever possible.  This is to ensure that healthy patients do not come into the surgery when we are seeing respiratory patients in the afternoons. 
  • This means the mornings will be even busier than normal in the dispensary so we are operating a “one-in, one-out” queue with patients waiting on the bench outside the front door, and on cushions along the wall. 
  • If you prefer to wait in your car, or on the bench we’ve placed in the car park (opposite the dispensary window, in the sun!) give your name to the receptionist and we will bring your medication out to you. Or come to the dispensary window and we will pass your meds out to you.

Village Collections

The collection points in village shops in Burton Bradstock, Abbotsbury and Martinstown are still open. (Martinstown village shop is closing now at 2pm.)

The White Horse in Litton Cheney and The Crown in Puncknowle are both closed. However you can still have your meds delivered to the White Horse which will be open every Saturday morning for one hour, from 11 to 12 noon, for you to collect them. If you can’t get there at that time, publican Andy Venning has kindly offered to deliver whatever is left himself over the weekend, and if you need something more urgently please contact the surgery and our staff will deliver to Litton Cheney, Little Bredy and Long Bredy.

Similarly our staff will deliver where they can within Puncknowle and Burton Bradstock. For other villages, and where you do not wish to come either to the Surgery or to a village collection point, please contact your local volunteer groups or ask us for details.

We have had volunteers come forward for Langton Herring and I am sure we will soon be told the arrangements for other areas so please ask us and we will make sure you get your medications delivered to your door in good time!  Please collect prescriptions promptly from these collection points as they have very limited storage space and anything left uncollected may have to be returned to the surgery after one week.

If you can help an isolated neighbour by collecting their medications for them, please let us know.

Telephone Advice:

Our phone lines will be much busier than normal because our GPs will be doing more telephone consultations.  Please therefore do not call us for general advice on things like whether you should travel, whether you should attend a hospital appointment or chose to self-isolate.   These decisions are up to you,; we can only help with medical queries.  The NHS websites mentioned above are an excellent source of information and advice which is updated daily so please look here first, or follow the news bulletins on TV and radio.

If you have a non-urgent medical query, including for things like sick notes or queries about a referral, you can now contact us using eConsult.  This may save you queuing on the phone and you will get an answer from the appropriate team within 48 hours.  There is a link on our home page and there is more information here

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