The Group Practice

Stornoway: 01851 703145
Habost: 01851 810689

When should I request COVID testing?

You should request a test only if you develop symptoms (fever, new continuous cough, loss of taste or smell) or you have been asked to by Test and Protect.

Testing is only reliable if you have coronavirus symptoms, a person can be incubating the virus and it would not show on a test until a few days later. That is why it is advised to test when a person has relevant symptoms.

If you have symptoms, even if they are mild, you are expected to stay at home for 10 days from the start of your symptoms.

Do not go to your GP, pharmacy or hospital.

All other household members should isolate as a household for 14 days, even if they don’t have symptoms themselves. This is because they might have the virus but are not yet showing signs of it.

To access a test you can:

Complete the NHS Western Isles Online Testing Referral Form at

Email your details to: [email protected]

Telephone the local COVID-10 helpline: 01851 601151 (open 9.00am-5.30pm Monday to Friday, with an answering machine available outwith these hours)

If the test is negative, you can return to your normal activities, however, a positive test should trigger Test and Protect contact tracing.

If your symptoms get worse during the 10 days of self-isolation or have not improved after 10 days, you need to continue to self-isolate and phone 111.

Stay safe. For more information visit

COVID-19 free Government helpline

The Scottish First Minister announced on 13 April 2020 that a new Government Support Line has been set up to help those who are vulnerable.

The service is aimed at people who face significant challenges as a result of COVID-19 but who are not in what is called the shielding group – for example, those over the age of 70, people who are disabled, those who require support for mental health services, those who are pregnant, and those who receive a flu jab for other health conditions.

It is intended for those who do not have family or existing community support.

It will connect people to local services which can help provide food and medicine as well as emotional support.

The free helpline will open Tuesday 14 April 2020 and will initially be available 0900-1700 with a view to extending these hours.

The phone number is 0800 111 4000

We would like to thank …

Local volunteers and Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn (Galson Estate Trust) for delivering medication to our Habost patients. This is really helping people to stay home and reduce footfall in the practice.

See Health Improvement Scotland ihub article regarding Community-led care and featuring Urras Oighreachd Ghabhsainn

Essence of Harris for providing us with hand sanitiser for our staff and volunteers.

Ishga for providing us with hand sanitiser and hand cream.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you have any concerns regarding COVID-19 please visit NHS Inform at: www.nhsinform/coronavirus

If this does not address your concerns please phone NHS 24 on 111 for help and advice.

Letter to Patients from Chief Medical Officer, Scotland

This is the letter that is being sent by the Scottish Government to people who have clinical conditions which are likely to put them in high risk groups.

Get an isolation note

COVID-19 Free Government Helpline launched 14/04/2020

Feeling unwell? Choose the right service

Choosing which service is right for you may not always be easy – often you have more than one option. Use the guide below if you’re not sure where to start.

COVID-19 Concerns

If you have any concerns regarding Covid-19 please visit NHS Inform.
If you have symptoms of Covid-19 please phone 111; do not attend the surgery.
Click here to use NHS Inform’s self-help guide to identify COVID-19 symptoms.

Cervical Screening Service

Several NHS Scotland national screening programs were paused in March because of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Cervical Screening service is set to resume. This will be done safely, carefully and in a series of stages.  

Invited to attend before the pause?

From 29 June 2020, anyone who was invited for cervical screening before the pause, and was yet to make an appointment or had their appointment cancelled, will be able to contact their GP practice to make an appointment.

Were you due to be invited during the pause?

Anyone who was due their last screening invitation during the pause will get one – regardless of age.

Invitations and reminders

Appointment invitations and reminders will be posted from mid-July, with invitations sent to those who receive more frequent (non-routine) cervical screening appointments first.

Routine screening

Routine screening will recommence once NHS Scotland has caught up with non-routine appointments affected by the pause.

More information

Your cervical screening appointment during COVID-19

Further Health Care Professional information on the screening pause and resumption can be found on the Public Health Scotland site here.

The NHS Inform site content has been updated for the public and can be found here .

Sleepio: Get to the root of your poor sleep

The NHS Western Isles have partnered with Big Health to offer Sleepio, a clinically proven digital CBT programme for sleep problems and insomnia, to all residents.

Sleepio is a clinically-evidenced sleep improvement programme that is fully automated and highly personalised, using cognitive behavioural techniques to help improve poor sleep.

To start the programme follow these three steps:
  1. Contact your local mPower Community Navigator at [email protected]
  2. Ask for more information about Sleepio and you will be given a special access code
  3. Using a desktop, laptop or tablet visit and enter your code to start

GP and Nurse Consultations

Our surgeries are still open for you but you will find that it is now different to usual.

Most consultations will be managed by telephone or video if at all possible. However, in some cases it will be necessary for you to attend in person. If this happens please be assured that we will ensure arrangements are in place to maintain your safety.

Please do not attend either surgery unless you have good reason to do so, or if you have been asked to attend.

If you need to speak to a GP or Practice Nurse please phone us and they will be in touch.

Currently you do not need to wear a face mask or face covering to attend The Group Practice if:

  • you have no symptoms of Covid 19
  • you have a good reason for being in the surgery

We will ask you to wash your hands on arrival and ask that you respect the need to keep 2m safe distancing. There are signs in the waiting area to guide you and markers on the floor.

If you do have symptoms of covid-19 please do not attend the surgery but phone 111.

Resources for victims of domestic or child abuse

Click above to find help and support from Scottish Women’s Aid

Survivors of Childhood Abuse Support Fund: Never more needed

Scotland’s Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline remains fully operational during the coronavirus pandemic. Call 24/7 on 0800 027 1234, or email and web chat from

Rape Crisis Scotland Helpline is available on 08088 01 03 02. Calls to this number are free. Or email [email protected] or text 07537 410027;

NSPCC Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice and support for parents and carers

Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Child Protection Contacts

What to do if you need urgent police help through the 999 service, but can’t speak

Calls from mobiles

“The Silent Solution” is a service that allows people in emergency situations to summon police without alerting an attacker that they are on the phone.

When someone calls 999 from a mobile phone the call is routed to a BT operator who asks which emergency service is required. If no-one responds, the operator must find out if the call is genuine or a ‘pocket dial’.

In this instance, callers are urged to make a noise – like coughing or tapping the phone – if they need help but can’t speak.

Police say that it is important to listen to the operator as they will then ask the caller to press ‘55‘ if the caller requires the police.

The ‘silent solution’ is only used for calls coming from mobile phones, as it is more likely that accidental calls will be made from them.

Calls from landlines

In the case of landline phone calls, if the BT operator doesn’t get any response to their questions, but can hear background noise, they’ll automatically forward the call to the police.

It is vitally important to listen to the call handler and cough or tape and press 55 when asked, so they know you are in real need of help.