Latest News

CORONAVIRUS/COVID-19 Latest Information 7.9.20

Increase in COVID-19 cases in Dacorum

There is a significant number of positive coronavirus (COVID-19) cases across the Dacorum area - with a specific rise of cases in Hemel Hempstead.

Please go to the Dacorum Borough Council website for more details

SHIELDING PATIENTS - 1st August 2020: Covid 19 Shielding Changes

Since the 1st August Shielding patients no longer have to shield.


The Elms Flu Plan 2020

We are already making plans as to how we will deliver the flu vaccinations in this COVID Pandemic difficult climate. We are using the Rothamsted Conference Centre this year at various weekends from the 26th September. This is because it is a larger location allowing for social distancing, plenty of parking and overall safe care. Seeing such large numbers could not be done safely at the practice. These clinics will be invite only and The Elms patients will only be admitted with the barcoded letter. This ensures the patient is registered at the Elms, is eligible and confirms consent. Face masks will be requisite. Infrared distance temperature checks will be taken at the entrances.Patients with any Covid symptoms or a temperature will not be permitted. We are looking to invite our extremely at risk shielding patients to the surgery in our protected shielding room. Children having Nasoflu spray will be invited to the practice into designated nurse slots, we hope to have these bookable online

There will be a huge demand for the flu vaccination this year and we have ordered more flu vaccinations to other years however surgeries have to make their bulk order the year before (in November 2019 prior to Covid) Year on year we have vaccine left over, however if the demand is so great this year we may simply not have enough. As an alternative you are free to go to a local pharmacy for your flu vaccination, many are booking now.

The vaccine is free to all in the categories below: Get Your Free Flu Jab - click to read more

  • adults 65 and over
  • adults aged 50 - 64 (only available in November/December and when government vaccine delivered)
  • 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:Protecting Your Child From Flu

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 Leaflets and Posters in Other Languages

NHS England Briefing for Patients on Flu Eligibility Please read if aged 50 - 64 years old


Who needs the Flu Vaccination and Why

Fix Your Bike Voucher Scheme - please visit the government website for details: Government Fix Your Bike Scheme

FIRE WARNING!!!Alcohol Hand Sanitiser Vehicle Fire Warning

GPES data for pandemic planning and research (COVID-19)

NHS Digital COVID Extraction Website

COVID Data Extraction Information

Accessing Dental CareDental Care What to Expect

Act Like You’ve Got It, Anyone Can Spread It

Key messages:



Latest government advice on coronavirus

Please stay at home if you have coronavirus symptoms

Stay at home and self-isolate for 7 days if you have one or both of:

a high temperature of 37.8 or above

a new continuous cough

a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of smell or test (ANOSMIA)

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital

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 home page E Consult
  • 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

To find out more please visit the government



Harpenden Town Council is supporting a new initiative called Harpenden Cares, It is a community-led response to the Coronavirus involving many of our fantastic voluntary groups including out very own Harpenden Health PCN Social Prescriber. They are already supporting many of our local patients who are at risk, or shielding at home. They are offering help and advice where needed and have proven to be a trusted source of information. Click on the following link for further information:


If you are a Redbourn patient, why not call the 'Redbourn Corona Volunteer Group.' It is funded by St Albans Council. Simply call  01582 794550 between 9am  - 12pm  

For all our patients who are in the medically, extremely vulnerable high-risk category , click on this link: for government support. You can register on behalf of someone if they can not do it themselves.

You can also register for one of the local volunteer support schemes at

Harpenden and St Albans Community Leaflet COVID Community Leaflet

Appointments during the Pandemic

Please look at the NEW E-Consult (on our Home page) - by using this service many patients find they do not need to contact the practice. The E-consult is full of self-help information, videos, photos and where to get the appropriate treatment, support or medication. You can also request a non-urgent telephone appointment this way and within 48 hours a member of staff will contact you to arrange a time. We will soon be adding bookable telephone appointments on our online Patient Access services.

If you ring the practice for an appointment our receptionists will ask you questions to ascertain a little as to why you need an appointment. This is done under the guidance and training of the clinical team and it ensures we signpost you to the correct clinician and that all 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.

If you have concerns you may have Covid symptoms or have become poorly with Covid, please call 111 or use their online services. Please always seek help, do not suffer in silence.

Wherever possible, this consultation will be over the phone. If a GP feels they need to see you they may ask you to have a video consultation or if you need to be examined you will be invited to make an appointment with them or another clinician. If it is a video call the GP will send a text with a link and invite.

If you are invited to come to the surgery, you may be asked to remain in your car until called by the clinician. We have a new intercom entry system to allow access into the surgery. If you do not have a car or you come by taxi you will be invited in by one of the reception team to sit in the waiting room. Seating is very limited due to the need for social distancing and the need for a safe flow of patients entering and leaving the building. Please When attending the practice please ensure you are wearing a face mask at all times. You will then be invited to go straight through to the clinicians consulting room.


Online services

During the COVID Pandemic, under Public Health Englands advice we had to close all online appointments due to the strict Covid triage system and the need to limit non-urgent care. The Pandemic is still very much with us and as we head into winter, safety procedures will be enforced even more to suppress Covid and Flu, but we do want to ensure our patients have easy access to care

Please see the Online Service webpage for details of how to access the new online services or how to download the NHS app

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. You can also order your prescription direct through the pharmacy.

Any prescriptions not sent through EPS will need to be collected at the practice. 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. Please allow 2-3 working days for repeat prescriptions.


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

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.



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

Wherever possible we will send any requested letters, test results or any other documents via your direct personal email. 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 then please come to the surgery wearing a mask, use the intercom to let us know you are here and we will pass the requested documents to you. If you are housebound 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.


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 continued support and kindness.




Please read this advice about staying at home


  • 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 following latest national guidance e.g. social distancing. 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.
  • You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you're 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

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

Find out more at

Please only ring 111 if you are unable to get help online

111 can only give isolation notes to patients with symptoms for up to 7 days or those living with patients with symptoms for up to 14 days. These should be accessed via the online 111 service

You should still be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.


Click here for easy read posters and handwashing advice

COVID-19 Easy read Latest July 2020

Stop Coronavirus Keep Clean Easy Read

Check It Out Easy Read

COVID-19 Easy Read New Rules May 2020

COVID-19 Easy Read Picture Poster

COVID-19 Easy Read Poster

Safe in the Sun Easy Read


WHO Healthy at Home

Government Public Guidance on Health and Wellbeing

How to Look After Your Mental Health

Herts Happiness, Wellbeing and Mental Health

Action for Happiness

Young Minds and Mental Health

Every Mind Matters

Silver Cloud On Line Courses

If you are over 16 and you are experiencing emotional difficulties such as anxiety, worry, depression and stress then you can self refer for talking therapies. Please click on the HPFT link below or call 0300 777 0707

HPFT NHS UK Community Wellbeing Services

New Leaf Recovery and Wellbeing Free Courses

Local Mental Health Offer Leaflet

*****  ON LINE SERVICES *****

We moved to a new Clinical System supplier called EMIS on the 4th June 2020. This means you will need to change to the new on-line service called 'PATIENT ACCESS'. Alternatively you can download the NHS App. Please click on the 'Online Services' tab for detailed information.

It was necessary to move to a new system as we are now part of a Primary Care Network called 'Harpenden Health PCN' and all practices have to be on the same system. It has been a huge upheaval for the practice and staff particularly in light of the COVID Pandemic, 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. Please can we ask you all to be patient as we make these vital and necessary changes to our computer systems. Thank you

Early Diagnosis Film Cancer Research UK information

Due to Coronavirus fewer people are contacting their doctor. If you have symptoms that could be cancer or changes unusual to you, please contact the surgery.

Diarrhoea and Vomiting


What to do if your child is unwell during this COVID Pandemic Advice for Parents

No Deal Brexit – Latest info please click here 


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 Charlotte Allam (Associate Trainer)

Dr Rebecca May (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.


We have been experiencing major issues with our queuing system on our phones where patients are sat thinking they are in a queue but the phones are not even ringing in reception. The GP Partners have complained to the CEO of the phone company and at last they have fixed all the problems we were having.

To our patients, please accept our sincere apologies for the disruption over the last few weeks.

The new system reports on how many calls we answer per hour and those reports show that we receive between 100 - 200 calls an hour.  We have 5 receptionists manning the phone calls and they answer and deal with calls as quickly as possible, however some calls can be complex and can take time. If the calls coming in are extremely high you will hear a message asking you to try again at a later time. Also if you are sat on the phone for more than 20 minutes please try again as this is more likely due to extremely high volume of calls rather than a delay by our reception team.

Please remember if your call is urgent please press option 1 for medical emergencies. As an alternative to calling the practice by phone, and if your call is not urgent, please use e-consult (see above) or email and we will get back to you.

Once again we apologise for the disruption and we thank you for your patience.

Check out how HCPA StopFalls can support you

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




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

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