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Latest News

Easter 2020 Local Pharmacy Opening Hours

CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19 Latest Information 1.4.20

Latest government advice on coronavirus

If you or anyone in your household has a high temperature or a new and continuous cough, even if those symptoms are mild, you should all stay at home. Don’t go to your GP or hospital; instead go to to check your symptoms and follow the specialist medical advice.

For medical help linked to coronavirus you can also contact the NHS 111 online coronavirus service.

Only call 111 if you cannot get online.

If you need medical help for any reason, do not visit the GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

If you need help or advice not related to coronavirus:

  • for health information and advice, use the NHS website or our surgery website
  • for urgent medical help, use the NHS 111 online service – only call 111 if you're unable to get help online
  • for life-threatening emergencies, call 999 for an ambulance



When you call to make an appointment with a GP or nurse we will first of all ask you to tell us why you need medical help. This will help us decide how best to help you. Please do not contact the practice for medical help linked to coronavirus. Follow the advice above.

We will initially arrange for a GP to call you back over the phone to assess your needs. If they can, the GP will provide you with advice there and then. A GP will decide if you need a further consultation.

Wherever possible, this consultation will be over the phone or by video.

We are reviewing pre-booked appointments and are changing these to a phone or video appointment and of course we will let you know if we do change it.

A GP may offer you an appointment at the surgery but we will only do this if we think that you need to see a doctor or nurse in person, and we are sure that there is no risk to patients or staff.

Online services

In light of this new approach, appointments can’t be booked online any longer. But please do use other online services, including:

  • Ordering repeat prescriptions – please only order what you need
  • Checking you medical records

Repeat prescriptions

We aim to send all prescriptions, including repeat prescriptions, through the electronic prescription service (EPS) to your nominated pharmacy. If you do not have a nominated pharmacy please ensure you choose one online or ask your usual pharmacy to set this up for you.


If you currently manage your own prescription requests and your prescription can’t be sent through EPS to a nominated pharmacy you will need to contact the GP practice by telephone or online.  


Home deliveries

Please be aware that home deliveries by community pharmacy is not an NHS funded service. Some pharmacies do offer a delivery service which you may be charged for.

Please stay at home if you have symptoms or you are at risk of Coronavirus/COVID 19

Stay at home and self-isolate for 14 days if you have one or both of:

a high temperature of 37.8 or above
a new continuous cough

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

Please read this advice about staying at home

Urgent advice: 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

Use the 111 coronavirus service

As part of our strategy planning in response to COVID-19 the surgery is now triaging all appointment requests

Please avoid calling the Practice where possible and regularly review this website for updates.

Find out more at


·         Try to avoid visitors to your home. Essential supplies can be dropped off.

·         Do not use public transport or taxis.

·         Rest and drink plenty of fluids and make sure someone checks on you regularly. Avoid unnecessary contact.

·         Cover your mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Put used tissues into a bin immediately and wash your hands.

·         Unless advised not to take, paracetamol can be used to relieve pain or fever. Follow the instructions in the pack. If in doubt CALL your local pharmacy.

·         You should remain at home until 7 days after your symptoms started. After 7 days, if you feel better and no longer have a high temperature, you can go back to doing what you would normally do. The cough may go on for some weeks in some people, even though the coronavirus infection has cleared. A cough by itself does not mean you have to stay at home for more than 7 days.

Click here for easy read posters and handwashing advice

COVID-19 Easy Read Picture Poster

COVID-19 Easy Read Poster

As part of our strategy planning in response to COVID-19 the surgery is having to change the way we work. We have moved to a triaging service whereby Receptionists, nurses and GPs are manning the phones to help you over the phone with your health care whether ongoing concerns or new. Please be assured that if a GP feels you need to be seen, you will be offered an appointment or video consultation.

We are asking all patients to stay away from the surgery wherever possible unless you have a pre-booked appointment. The reason for this is to limit the spread of Covid-19 through unnecessary contact. Many patients come to the practice for reasons other than an appointment and we have changed the way we work to accommodate that in the following ways:


All prescriptions will be sent through EPS to your nominated pharmacy. Any prescriptions not sent through EPS will need to be collected by the pharmacy from the practice. You will need to get your medication from your nominated pharmacy and not come to the practice to collect your prescription. If you haven’t nominated a pharmacy we will ask you to do so. Please wherever possible use our on-line system for ordering repeat prescriptions rather than coming to the practice to drop the prescription off. If you do drop the prescription off at the surgery please ensure it is in a sealed envelope. Prescriptions will be turned around as soon as we are able but please be advised that Pharmacies make take longer than usual to dispense them due to the high number of requests.

Registering with the Practice

Please either post these through the front door in a sealed envelope, post them through the royal mail, or email them to us at or use the registration page on our website.

Letters and other documents

No letters, test results or any other documents will be available to pick up from the practice, they will now be scanned and emailed to you. Please double check with the Elms team that we have an appropriate and up to date email address. By giving us this information we will accept this as consent to send data to your home email address. If you don’t have an email address we will try and post these to you, however be aware you may be asked to post a self-addressed envelope to the practice so that this can be actioned. Completion of forms and letter requests will take between 5 – 10 working days dependent on urgency and direct care of patient. There is a fee for letters and completion of forms and this will have to be paid for in advance, so please request our surgery BACs details and send a copy of your BACs transaction to confirm payment has been made. This is a new system for us so please be patient.

Our receptionists have been for a few years now asking questions when you phone to ensure we signpost you to the correct clinician, we now have to ask even more questions to enable our highly trained team to screen all calls ensuring our patients are cared for effectively and appropriately. This can sometimes lead to longer waiting times on the phones but we have a full team answering calls and you will get through.

We want to ensure we have a safe and efficient service not only as we deal with the Coronavirus challenges but also moving ahead, continuing to meet demand, ensuring our continued high quality of care for all our patients.

Thank you for your support.

Click here for easy read posters and handwashing advice

COVID-19 Easy Read Picture Poster

COVID-19 Easy Read Poster


You can either register or continue to use our on-line services directly through the practice or you can now access these services and indeed more by downloading the national NHS APP.


We are having to move to EMIS, a new Clinical System supplier on 4th June 2020, which will necessitate a change for patients to either register with the NHS APP or the new Clinical System provider (EMIS) on line service. As you may be aware, we are now part of a Primary Care Network (Harpenden Health PCN) and all practices need to be on the same system, hence the move. A huge upheaval for the practice and staff, however we are excited by this as we believe it will benefit our patients going forward e.g. more extended hours appointments available at each of the Harpenden practices for all patients and further cohesive services for our local community.

Diarrhoea and Vomiting


FLU VACCINATIONS - Please call to book

No Deal Brexit – Latest info please click here 

August 2019 We welcome our new GP Partner Dr Amit Bhardwaj


Get Your Free Flu Jab - click to read more

(updated 15th November 2019)

Our Saturday Flu clinics were well attended and although those have all finished now, you can still get your flu vaccination at a time to suit you. So please contact the practice to make an appointment with one of our nurses or ask to have it done when you come in for a routine GP appointment.

All practices across the whole Herts Valley CCG are at last getting this week some Naso-flus for ages 2 – 17 years from Public Health. Sadly they will only allow us to order a few at a time so please be patient if you still have to wait a little longer. In response to these delays Public Health England produced a leaflet to explain why there has been a delay in the availability of LAIV flu for under 18’s due to the manufacturer. Please click here for the information flyer. If you have any questions please contact Herts BLMK:


The vaccine is free to all in the categories below:

  • adults 65 and over
  • people with certain medical conditions (including children in at-risk groups from 6 months of age)
  • pregnant women
  • children aged 2 and 3
  • children in reception class and school years 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

There are 3 types of flu vaccine:

  • a live quadrivalent vaccine (which protects against 4 strains of flu), given as a nasal spray – this is for children and young people aged 2 to 17 years eligible for the flu vaccine
  • a quadrivalent injected vaccine – this is for adults aged 18 and over but below the age of 65 who are at increased risk from flu because of a long-term health condition and for children 6 months and above in an eligible group who cannot receive the live vaccine
  • an adjuvanted trivalent injected vaccine (FLUAD) – this is for people aged 65 and over as it has been shown to be more effective in this age group

If your child is aged between 6 months and 2 years old and is in a high-risk group for flu, they will be offered an injected flu vaccine as the nasal spray is not licensed for children under 2.

The ‘Protecting your child from flu’ leaflet is now available to download in audio from: 

And also in braille – on demand from the Health Publications website.

And the same leaflet is available on GOV.UK in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, German, Gujarati, Hindi, Italian, Polish, Romani, Romanian, Somali, Tagalog, Tamil, Turkish and Urdu. 

The Elms Medical Practice is now a Teaching & Training Practice

Health Education England has approved The Elms Medical Practice for teaching and training within the East of England Deanery. This means we are able to host newly qualified doctors within their Foundation years, as well as those undertaking General Practice training. 

We have also established strong links with other educational institutions and provide training to:

·     Physician Associate trainees (University of Hertfordshire)

·     Final Year Medical Students (University of Cambridge)

·     Year 5 Medical Students (University College London)

·     Year 5 Medical Students (Kings College London)

 The practice team are enthusiastic about the delivery of high-quality teaching and training, and are supported by a dedicated team of educators and administrative support:

Dr David Hemsi (Associate Trainer)

Dr Ellen Sibly (Associate Trainer)

Dr Vidya Kanthi (Associate Trainer)

Mrs Sarah Brindley (Practice Manager – Education Non-Clinical Lead)

Miss Emma Heaton (Deputy Manager)
Appointments with our learners may be offered to you and booked only with your consent. All learners are closely supervised by a named GP Partner. For training purposes, learners may require video recordings of some consultations and again, only with your consent. These are used solely for teaching and confidentiality is upheld between both the learner and GP educator.  

We hope you will support our commitment to the teaching and training of undergraduate and postgraduate healthcare professionals, and we would welcome any feedback regarding your experiences with them.

Check out how HCPA StopFalls can support you

Harpenden Primary Care Network - Please Click here to read information sheet for details.


Measles outbreak in our area May 2019

Please call us to check your child/teenager is vaccinated with the 2 doses - we can provide any missing vaccinations at your convenience

For more info please read the following Public Health leaflet and link below:

Measles Public Health Leaflet 2019

Local Data Sharing Scheme My Care Record

Heart Age Campaign 2019

This is to increase awareness of heart health and reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, the campaign encourages adults to complete the ‘One You Heart Age Test’ which reveals your heart age compared to your real age and gives advice on how to lower it. Click HERE to link to the Heart Age Campaign website.

Improving Access in our Locality



Gluten Free products are no longer available on prescription in Hertfordshire

Do you get gluten-free foods on prescription? Gluten-free foods are no longer available on prescription.
You can buy these foods from supermarkets, pharmacies and online without a prescription.
For more information please contact us at or 01442 898865

Gluten Free Information Leaflet

Cardio Prehab Event Presentation

What happens when you are referred by your GP to a specialist

Please can you take a moment by accessing the link above and answer the surveys about changes the CCG is proposing on access for IVF, gluten free foods, over the counter medications, female sterilisation, vasectomy and being fit for surgery (i.e. BMI and smoking policy).

These are very important issues and it is important that patients have a say. The deadline is 14th September. Thank you in advance for your time on this.

Fever in a child under 5 - use the traffic light table to help you determine the most sensible action to take

Have your say – join our Patient Participation Group

We value your feedback – take the Friends & Family Test

Health News from the BBC and the NHS

BBC Health
NHS Choices Behind the Headlines
Call 111 when you need medical help fast but it’s not a 999 emergencyNHS ChoicesThis site is brought to you by My Surgery Website