Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


Who do I need to see for my problem?

Some symptoms and conditions do not need to be assessed by a GP and are better dealt with by another healthcare professional. Utilising the appropriate service for your problem means you get the right assistance within the right timeframe. It also helps us to prioritise patients who need GP care, manage availability of our clinicians, and enables our doctors to continue working at a safe capacity.

It’s important to get help when you need it. When you call the surgery, our team will ask you questions to identify and direct you to the most appropriate clinician or service. If you are unsure who you need to see, call 111 and an advisor will direct you.

For more information on who to see for your problem, visit ‘Using the NHS and other health services during coronavirus (COVID-19) – NHS (’.

When can I see a GP/nurse?

We are offering routine appointments with clinicians both face to face and via telephone. As we begin the process of resuming routine services, you may expect to wait for a routine appointment. Making use of other NHS and community services for advice where appropriate (see above) can help us to keep this wait to a minimum.

If your issue is medically urgent, you must call BEFORE 12:30. After 12:30, there are no available bookable appointments. Please be aware that by requesting medically urgent advice, you agree to be available to attend the surgery at a given time on the same day, if requested by our team.

I sent a message to my doctor via the website, when will I receive a reply?

GPs allocate designated time within their schedules to deal with and respond to messages sent via the website. Our team will respond to your message with an indication of when you can expect a reply from your doctor. The website portal is for routine queries only. If your problem is medically urgent, please call our team. If your query requires an appointment with a clinician and cannot be dealt with via message alone, you will receive a reply advising you to arrange an appointment with your GP.

My hospital appointment has been cancelled/postponed. What should I do?

If you have any questions regarding a hospital appointment, please contact your relevant hospital directly.

How can I access medical help if I am staying out of the area?

If you are usually registered with The Downland Practice but are currently staying out of the area, you should register with your local GP surgery so you can access GP help and/or a prescription should you need it.

Can I register temporarily with the practice?

If you are currently staying within our catchment area, please see our registration page.

Vaccinations and COVID-19 Testing

How can I book my COVID-19 vaccination?

When it is your turn, please visit Book or manage your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination – NHS ( or call 119 to arrange a COVID-19 vaccination.

I am travelling abroad and need travel vaccinations. How do I get these?

The practice no longer offers a private travel service. For travel vaccination advice, please contact a private travel clinic. The clinic will advise you which vaccinations are recommended for your specific travel plans. Some of these vaccinations may be available on the NHS. The surgery runs limited clinics for NHS travel vaccinations but you will need to find out from a private travel clinic exactly which NHS vaccinations you require before calling us to book. If our clinics are fully booked, you may be advised to call again at a later date; please note we do not run a waiting list for this service. If your vaccinations and travel plans are time sensitive, you may wish to arrange all of the necessary vaccinations through a private travel clinic.

For more information on travel vaccinations, planning for which vaccinations you may need, and which travel vaccinations are available on the NHS, please visit Travel vaccinations – NHS (

Can I have a test for COVID-19 infection and/or antibodies?

Get a free NHS test to check if you have coronavirus – GOV.UK (

List of private providers of coronavirus testing – GOV.UK (

How do I get a COVID-19 vaccine passport?

Vaccine passes are available via the NHS app. If you do not yet have access to your records online, please visit our Register for Online Services page.

Administration, Work, and Exemptions

What are the National and Type 1 Data Sharing Opt out schemes?

More information on the proposed NHS data sharing can be found on NHS – Your data matters and NHS digital – Collecting GP data – Advice for the public.

There are two different types of ‘opt-out’; National Data Opt Out, and Type 1 Opt Out. You can choose to opt out of one, both, or neither. Please read the above information to help you make your decision.

To register a National Data Opt Out, click here – Make your choice about sharing data from your health records – NHS (

To register a Type 1 Opt Out, please download this form, complete it, and return it to reception.

How are private (non-NHS) forms dealt with?

Please visit Private Fees and Charges | The Downland Practice for information on private work.

How can I get a sick note for work?

If you have symptoms of coronavirus or live with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus, you can obtain a note for your employer directly from the NHS 111 isolation note service. If you require a sick note for an ongoing (non-isolation related) condition, please request a sick note online.

Prescriptions and medication

How can I order my repeat prescription?

  • Online at Patient Access or via the NHS app
  • Email your request to
  • Post your repeat slip to the practice
  • Put your repeat slip through the letter box of the practice

Please note that we cannot accept requests for routine repeat prescriptions via the website, or over the telephone.

When will my prescription be ready to collect?

Your prescription will be ready to collect 4 days after the date of your request.

Can I order more than 1 month’s worth of medication?

Repeat medication requests will only be issued for 1 month at a time due to supply concerns.

My medication review is due/overdue. What should I do?

Our Clinical Pharmacist is now managing routine medication reviews and will work closely with your GP. If your medication review is due or overdue, please call our team on 01635 248251 option 1 to book a telephone appointment with Clinical Pharmacist.

On behalf of the GP Partners at the Downland Practice, thank you for your patience and ongoing support.