COVID-19 Treatment & Testing Advice

To best protect yourself against coronavirus, lifestyle and dietary measures are extremely important. Ensure that you exercise daily (this can also be undertaken indoors) and that your intake is varied and nutritious, including fresh foods rich in anti-oxidants. For further useful tips about optimising your physical and mental health during this time, please click here.

Should you develop symptoms of potential coronavirus infection, most people should adopt self-care initially. A high proportion of cases are mild and self-limiting. Simple rest, PARACETAMOL and fluids may be all that is required, with full recovery after 7-10 days. Please follow the government’s instructions regarding self and household isolation which can be found here. If showing symptoms, you may wish to go online to purchase a pulse oximeter. This instrument measures blood oxygen levels and will assist the doctor in managing your care remotely. People with pre-existing health conditions should ensure that they continue their medications and observe any advice that has been provided as a result of health checks and chronic disease reviews.

People with more severe coronavirus symptoms and/or significant additional illness (such as respiratory disease) at COVID-19 onset should seek early advice. In some cases, additional measures should be taken, and the doctor at The Walcote Practice is able to advise accordingly.

A minority of patients may progress to become more breathless after the first 5-7 days of the COVID-19 illness and may require additional support such as oxygen. Please contact us should you be concerned that symptoms are progressing. If you are very concerned and do not hear back from us quickly, please phone 111 or dial 999 if very unwell.

COVID-19 Testing

The Walcote Practice has received many requests for private coronavirus/ COVID-19 testing. Symptomatic patients should not attend the practice but follow the advice provided on our home page. Currently testing is broadly separated into those tests aimed at excluding current infection ( SARS-CoV-2 PCR or antigen analysis) and the antibody blood test to investigate past exposure.

We offer two coronavirus/ COVID-19  test for active viral infection: the SARS-CoV-2 RT PCR RNA swab test and the SARS-CoV-2 lateral flow rapid antigen test. These are the same tests which are currently being provided to NHS and hospital patients and for key worker screening. The PCR test can be offered remotely to registered patients with active symptoms, after appropriate telephone consultation with a GP. We can also provide screening swab testing at the surgery for asymptomatic individuals who fulfil certain requirements. This may be of interest to those requiring essential travel, working in critical roles, pre-operative screening or who need to continue caring for frail or elderly relatives. It is important to research your particular destination or screening requirement and provide as much information as possible to ensure  suitable choice and turnaround. PCR analysis is provided on a weekday morning sample with next day results/ certification; lateral flow rapid antigen testing can be provided at any time, with a same day result/ certification, but may not be suitable in all circumstances.

We are also pleased to offer the COVID-19 total antibody testing (Siemens, IVD CE marked). The analysis has been rigorously reviewed and is held to be of high sensitivity (99.7-100%) and specificity for the IgG/ IgM/ IgA antibodies which are associated with prior exposure and subsequent immune response to the virus. These antibodies are to be reliably detected 21 days from the onset of symptoms. Once antibody positivity has been confirmed, it is possible that lasting immunity to COVID-19 may be achieved, however this requires longer-term scientific analysis. We hope that this will be of particular use to key workers and those in critical roles, and that it will also help to inform the public health response to the pandemic.

Should you have any requirements relating to your general health, or specifically to coronavirus infection, we remain available to you. To arrange an appointment with one of our doctors please call 01962 828715 or email  For information on how we process your data, please read our Fair Processing Notice.

Please refer to our website and health blogs for updated information on managing your health during COVID-19 and to be kept updated on our available coronavirus tests.

At-risk patients such as those on immunosuppressants including steroids, current cancer treatment or without spleens please ring and book a strategic telephone/video consultation so that we can provide bespoke advice and discuss specific treatment options with you.

We wish you and your families all the very best at this difficult time. Take care.