Coronavirus Support


January 2021

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic is exhausting and difficult for all of us. The news of the latest lockdown will increase anxiety for some people, but we know that it is vital for us all to follow the rules to protect us all and especially to keep the most vulnerable people we care about safe. The team at St Peters Medical Centre want to do everything that we can to continue to look after our community and to help you through this

We will be starting vaccinations very soon, and will be in touch as soon as we can with appointments. Please do not ring us, as you will be contacted as soon as appointments are able to be booked for people in your priority group. The government have given us very clear guidelines for the order that we have to vaccinate in and we have to follow these rules. The priority groups are:


1. Residents in a care home for older adults and their carers

2. All those 80 years of age and over and frontline health and social care workers

3. All those 75 years of age and over

4. All those 70 years of age and over and clinically extremely vulnerable individuals

5. All those 65 years of age and over

6. All individuals aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions, which put them at higher risk of serious disease and mortality

7. All those 60 years of age and over

8. All those 55 years of age and over

9. All those 50 years of age and over


It is estimated that taken together, these groups represent around 99% of preventable mortality from COVID-19.

We want to reassure you that we are still open throughout lockdown, although we need to speak to everyone on the telephone first. We are also doing video consultations and we always arrange a face-to-face examination if someone needs a physical examination or has complex mental health difficulties that make video or phone consultation challenging. During the first lockdown, some people delayed coming to see us, and as a result, they had serious illnesses diagnosed later than normal. Please do ring us if you are unwell, and especially if you have any of the following symptoms

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • A new lump
  • Rectal bleeding or persistent change in bowel habit
  • A mole that is changing
  • Persistent hoarse voice or cough
  • Blood in your urine


The practice has taken steps to mitigate the risk of transmission of Covid19 in the building as much as possible, with masks and social distancing in the waiting room and other measures. We will soon also be doing twice weekly testing for all staff to make sure no one with an asymptomatic infection comes to work here without realising it. All of these measures mean that if you do have to come to the practice then we can keep you and our staff safe

Lockdown and Covid has had a huge impact on mental health.

There is free access to talking therapy at the Brighton Wellbeing Service ( and advice on community support at Community Roots (

If you are struggling there is also 24/7 help from the Sussex Mental Health line (

For anyone developing problems with alcohol or drugs the Change Grow Live can provide support (

Our patient participation group recently organised a webinar where Dr Claire Bowmer and Dr Rebecca Jarvis talked about mental health in the pandemic – you can find this on our website


There is good international evidence that concentrating on the Five Ways to mental health can help all of us stay well

  • Connect – if you are lucky enough to live with someone or have a pet then remember to take time with him or her. If you live on your own send a text, write a letter or phone someone you know. Alternatively, if you go out for your exercise or to the shop then smile at the person serving you. You can also connect with the world outside just by watching a travel documentary – but avoid checking the news more than once a day
  • Learn – This doesn’t have to be formal study – learn a new recipe or a new route to the shop, or do a Sudoku or puzzle
  • Be Active – the NHS website has exercises for people who are housebound and chair bound, and we love Joe Wicks and Yoga with Adrienne on You Tube as well as the couch to 5k app
  • Take Notice- Look at the sky out of your window, and there is always something to look at outside in Brighton – even in lockdown. But also notice your body and your feelings
  • Give – this can be as simple as giving a smile or. things that you have managed to do

Try to do these each week if you can

Stay safe and be kind – to yourself and others. We need to look after ourselves before we look after others, as you cannot pour from an empty cup.

We are the NHS and we are here for you


An important message from Alistair Hill, Director of Public Health  for our city concerning COVID-19 cases

The following is a weekly statement by the Public Health team at Brighton and Hove City Council on Covid-19 cases

6 January 2021

 Covid-19: You must stay at home
The government has announced that England is now in lockdown.

The new restrictions are tougher than the lockdown in November and make it clear that everyone must stay at home. This is the single most important action we can all take to protect the NHS and save lives.

You must not leave or be outside of your home except where you have a ‘reasonable excuse’. These limited reasons include shopping for essentials, exercise once a day, seeking medical assistance, escaping domestic abuse, or to work if you cannot work from home.

Click here to have a look at more details of the rules and guidance.

In Brighton & Hove
In the seven days up to the 31 December there were 1768 new cases in Brighton & Hove.

- equivalent to a weekly rate of new cases of 608 per 100,000 residents  
- an increase of 91% compared to the previous week (318 cases per 100,000)
- higher than the rate for England (547 per 100,000) and slightly lower than the South East (651 per 100,000)
- like previous weeks, the numbers of confirmed cases of Covid-19 has risen in all age groups in the city 

Alistair Hill, Director of Public Health for Brighton & Hove City Council, said:

“Covid-19 is spreading rapidly in Brighton & Hove. The weekly number of positive tests is now more than 10 times higher than at the end of November. Every age group and every part of our city is affected.

“The latest national ONS survey shows that roughly 1 in 45 people in the South East have got the virus.

“Sadly more people are becoming very ill, hospital admissions are increasing fast and more local people will die as a result of the virus.

“In order to save lives it is absolutely vital that we break the chain of transmission.

“Everyone must follow the rules of the lockdown and stay at home. If you are outside of your home you must adopt the measures necessary to prevent the spread of the virus: think hands – face – space.

“And while the roll out of the second Covid vaccine this week is good news, I ask you all to be patient. The NHS is working to a priority list of those most at risk first, and those who work closest with them.

“Please do not contact the NHS to get a vaccine. You will be contacted when it’s your turn.”  

Help for residents if you need it
We know this is a worrying time and many residents will have concerns. You can find out more about the services and support available in Brighton & Hove on the council’s Covid website.

If you need extra support you can contact our community hub for emergency help with food, energy bills and other essentials. Contact the community hub online or call 01273 293 117 and select option 2 if you can’t get online.

Book a test at the first sign of any Covid symptoms
Do not leave home if you or someone you live with has any of the following symptoms – even if very mild:

- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste

You must immediately self-isolate with your household and book a test online or by calling 119.

What you can and cannot do during the national lockdown?
You must not leave or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may only leave home to:

- shop for basic necessities, for you or a vulnerable person
- go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
- exercise outdoors once a day with your household or support bubble, or one other person (maintaining social distancing), and you should not travel outside your local area.
- meet your support bubble or childcare bubble where necessary
seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm (including domestic abuse)
- attend education or childcare - for those eligible
- Children can move between homes if their parents are separated.

Workplaces will stay open if people cannot work from home - including construction and manufacturing.

Colleges, primary and secondary schools will remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers. All other children will learn remotely until February half term.

Early Years settings can remain open but council-run nurseries will be closed to all but vulnerable children and children of critical workers from 7 January.

Higher Education provision will remain online until mid-February for all except future critical worker courses.

If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local in the part of the city where you live. You may only leave your local area for a legally permitted reason, such as for work.

Support bubbles for people who live alone and households made up of single parents and children can continue.

Childcare bubbles are allowed to enable parents to work (and not to enable social contact between adults).

You should only be spending time with those in your household or support bubble, but you can exercise outdoors once a day with someone from outside your household or support bubble, with social distancing.

You must stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household.

If you are at high risk from coronavirus (clinically extremely vulnerable) you should only go out for medical appointments, exercise or if it is essential. You will receive a letter with more details about what this means.

Kind regards

Alistair Hill

Director of Public Health


Further information

Lockdown restrictions

COVID information

COVID vaccinations 


 You are now able to book your covid vaccination appointment by clicking the link below: 

Full details are at: 

Appointments are available for all paid or employed health and care staff, including:

All NHS staff from primary (including general practice and general dental practice), community and secondary care

Staff of independent and third sector health and care providers, care and care home staff in public, private and not for profit sectors. 


You may receive a letter from the NHS about booking a vaccination at Brighton and Hove’s mass vaccination centre – the Brighton Centre.  Your local designated site is at Brighton Racecourse which is going live on 14 January 2021 with appointments being booked over the coming days and weeks. You will receive a text to your mobile  number with a link to book an appointment or a member of the booking team will be in touch over the phone. Please do not contact the practice as we are unable to schedule an appointment for you but please rest assured you will hear from the booking team shortly. 

We are aware that you will have recently received a letter advising you of the mass vaccination site at the Brighton Centre. You are able to access either site that is most convenient to you. If you have already received a vaccine, please ignore this text. 

Covid vaccine news story

The Government has asked the NHS to be ready to deliver a COVID-19 vaccination programme for England from December.

In Sussex, detailed planning is well progressed, building on the expertise the NHS has already in delivering immunisations like the annual flu vaccination programme. GP practices are working alongside community and hospital partners to plan what is needed and how a vaccination programme of this scale will be offered to our patients.

A priority in all our planning is to ensure that it is as easy as possible for eligible people to access a vaccination when they become available.

The NHS, working with partners, will deliver the vaccine through a network of locations, for example to vulnerable and housebound people in their own homes, at community clinics and at large scale centres. Eligibility for the vaccine will be prioritised by the Government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, based on the latest evidence of vaccine effectiveness and clinical characteristics. The most recently published advice is that vaccines should first be given to care home residents and staff, followed by people aged over 80 and health and social care workers, before being rolled out to the rest of the population in order of age and risk. A national public information campaign will start shortly. It will promote public understanding of the safety and effectiveness of vaccines and provide more information about when and how you will be able to access a vaccine when one becomes available.

How can we help you?

If you think you might have coronavirus or you’ve been in close contact with someone who has it visit NHS 111 online coronavirus service for advice.

Well-being while staying at home

Taking care of your mind as well as your body is really important while staying at home because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Visit NHS Every Mind Matters for advice, practice advice and support groups.

If you cannot wait to see a doctor and feel unable to cope or keep yourself safe, it’s important to get support.

Get urgent support now.

Keeping Active

To stay fit and healthy whilst at home, try the NHS Home workout videos.

Click here to find out how to get a COVID19 Test

Advice for patients with pre-existing conditions

Additional Information for Patients

Advice for Vulnerable Patients

Maternity and Pregnancy Advice.pdf

Covid symptoms

Is it a cold, flu or coronavirus?

What are the differences between the Covid-19 tests?


How are you? Free healthy lifestyle advice during Covid-19


Brighton & Hove Covid-19 Escalation Framework

Public Health have introduced a new escalation framework, using a traffic light system – from green to yellow, amber and red -  to keep everyone in the city up to date about the current rate of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Brighton & Hove and how they can help to prevent the spread of infection.


Starting this week the city’s status will be updated weekly on a new Current Alert Level and Guidance web page.

We will also highlight groups and settings that are particularly affected so people can make extra efforts to reduce their risk.   

I’m asking everyone to play their part and follow the guidance. To slow the virus we all need to step up physical distancing, wear face coverings where advised, limit contact between households and follow the ‘rule of six’ and also think ‘hands, space, face’ . Businesses also have a vital role to play by ensuring they are helping their customers to stay safe.