For information regarding the COVID-19 vaccination programme please visit our dedicated page for this here.
Latest information and updates
The latest update about Hertfordshire’s response to coronavirus from the Local Resilience Forum. This week's edition published on 3 December provides information on:
The Omicron variant
Next steps in the vaccination programme
a new campaign to "win winter"
Easy read information
For Easy Read information about coronavirus follow this link.
The NHS is currently offering the COVID-19 vaccine to people most at risk from coronavirus based on advice from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI). First doses of the vaccine are currently available to people aged 50 or over as well as to younger adults with certain health conditions and health and care workers.
There are two types of vaccination sites in west Hertfordshire
- Local GP-run vaccination services – these are provided in vaccination clinics in some GP surgeries health centres or other community locations. There are ten of these services in west Hertfordshire that you can book into via your GP practice.
- Vaccination centres – public venues, including some pharmacies, that are bookable through the national booking system.
More information about the COVID-19 vaccination programme
You can get the latest COVID-19 vaccination information for Hertfordshire on the Healthier Future website. Here you will find
- details of local vaccination sites
- information about who is currently getting the vaccine
- information leaflets, videos and easy read guides
- advice on vaccine safety
- answers to frequently asked questions
- how to get involved in the vaccination programme if you want to help
Please be aware that scam text messages and emails have been circulating. If you receive any message asking you to make a payment to book a vaccination, please do not share your information and delete the message. The NHS does not ask for payment for services and the COVID-19 vaccinations we provide are free for patients.
Getting tested for COVID-19
Testing is important in avoiding the spread of coronavirus. There are two types of tests.
Coronavirus tests for people with symptoms (PCR tests) - If you or a family member have symptoms - a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – get a free NHS test to check if you have coronavirus. You can get a home test or book at one of the drive through or walk-in centres across Hertfordshire.
Coronavirus tests for people with no symptoms (rapid testing) - 1 in 3 people with coronavirus don’t show any symptoms and can spread the virus without knowing. Rapid tests are free tests for people who do not have any symptoms. They're also known as lateral flow tests. Priority access to rapid tests is given to key workers and essential workers and also to family members or people in the support bubbles of school children and school staff.
Find out where and when you can get tested and how testing works by visiting the Hertfordshire County Council website
Protecting yourself and others
We can all help control the virus if we follow guidance in place to protect ourselves and others. Coronavirus restrictions remain in place across the country. In England:
- Only socialise indoors with people you live with or who are in your support bubble
- Up to 6 people or 2 households can meet outside
- Work from home if you can and minimise travel
- If you have symptoms get a test and stay at home
Follow self-isolation rules if you or anyone in your household has the following symptoms:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of smell or taste (anosmia)
Support for people in high-risk groups
If you have been identified as being in a high-risk group, and are shielding, you may be eligible to receive support to help with food and essential supplies.
Herts Help has a range of support and information to help people though the lockdown.
Keeping healthy and using health services during coronavirus
Help us help you get the treatment you need
While we are being asked to stay at home to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus, it can be difficult to know what to do if you feel unwell or are concerned about specific symptoms such as cancer, heart attack or stroke.
Please know the NHS is still here to help you get the care and treatment you need, when you need it. You can:
- contact you GP practice online, via an app or by phone to be assessed
- visit the NHS 111 online service or call 111, and call 111 if you are worried about the health of your baby or child
- dial 999 immediately if it is a serious or life-threatening emergency for you, an adult or child
You should go to hospital if you are told to and attend appointments unless you have been told not to.
You can still order repeat prescriptions on the NHS App and through your GP practice or pharmacy’s online service, where available.
Your local pharmacist can also help with minor complaints
For more information, check out Health at home: how to access NHS services online.
Managing your health at home
The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak means you should only leave your home if it's essential, unless you feel very unwell or you are told to attend an existing appointment for ongoing treatment. While you are at home it's still easy to get NHS help using your smartphone, tablet or computer. The Health at Home webpage has information letting you know how to:
- contact your GP
- order repeat prescriptions
- manage long-term conditions
- maintain your mental and physical wellbeing
If you need an NHS service, try to do it online first. If you cannot get what you need this way try asking a friend or family member to help you, or speak to your GP surgery on the phone.
Find out more at: nhs.uk/health-at-home
Looking after your child's health
Our childhood illnesses leaflet free to download here is full of advice and information for parents and carers of young children.
The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health has developed some information to advise parents on how best to seek help during the current pandemic. Find the poster here.
If you or your child is due their routine vaccinations it is important they are still carried out. Routine vaccinations protect against serious and potentially deadly illnesses and stop outbreaks in the community.
If the person needing vaccination has coronavirus symptoms or is self-isolating because someone in the household is displaying symptoms, please contact your GP practice for advice.
Mental health support
If you are feeling anxious or stressed at this time, the Every Mind Matters website has developed some helpful tips on coping with lockdown.
The wellbeing service provided by Hertfordshire Partnership Foundation Trust provides access to a wide range of talking therapy treatments for adults with common mental health problems including:
- low mood
- anxiety and depression.
You can refer yourself directly to the local wellbeing service, through their website.
If you’re experiencing a mental health crisis, call freephone 0800 6444 101 or by phoning NHS111 and selecting option 2.
If you are experiencing domestic abuse then there is support for you. You are not alone. At home shouldn’t mean at risk and if this is you then isolation rules do not apply.
Police response and support services remain available. If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, dial 999.
For more information, visit the GOV.UK website.
Updates from local services
Follow the links below for more information from our hospital and community NHS partners about current access to services, including how they’re keeping patients and visitors safe.