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False Covid text asking patients to order test kits

We have been notified of a text scam that has been sent to patients purporting to be from their GP practice. The text could easily be mistaken as a legitimate notification as the recipient’s mobile will show the text grouped with legitimate texts from their own GP practice. The message advises them that they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Omicron and that they must order a test kit using a link within the text. The link then asks for a payment of £0.99 for postage.

This is a scam and GP Practices would not text patients in this way seeking payment for test kits.

NHS COVID Pass/Recovery Certificate/Exemption

A large number of people have been calling us with queries about Covid vaccination status, vaccine exemption certificates and Covid recovery certificates.

We unfortunately can’t assist with any queries about these and ask that patients follow the guidance at the link below:

Covid recovery certificates: to the best of our knowledge these are only available for English residents

Covid vaccination record

Please also be advised that the surgery does not provide recovery letters for travel. If you have tested positive and are using the NHS App, your COVID passport will not be available for at least 14 days post the date you were confirmed as having a positive test result. Once the 14 days have passed your COVID pass should become available again for you to download.


Anybody needing to demonstrate your COVID 19 status, will need to get a NHS COVID Pass letter. This is not a document that the surgery can provide. Please call 119 and option 3 or click here to apply online

Covid Pass Medical Exemption

1. Phone the NHS COVID Pass service on 119 to ask for an NHS COVID Pass medical exemptions application form.

You can also call to find out more information about COVID Pass medical exemptions.

The call handler at the NHS COVID Pass service will ask you some questions. You will need to give:

  • your name
  • your date of birth
  • your NHS number (if you know it)
  • the name of your GP and/or specialist clinician

2. If you’re eligible to apply, you’ll get an application form by post.

You should not ask your GP for an application form. If you do go to your GP before you get your application form you’ll be asked to call the NHS COVID pass service on 119.

3. Return your application form to the GP or relevant clinician stated on the form. Your application will be clinically reviewed by your doctor, specialist or midwife. Your GP, specialist or midwife may ask to speak with you if needed, but you won’t need to book this when you submit your application.

4. You’ll automatically get the results of your application by post 2 to 3 weeks after applying. You don’t need to contact your GP or the clinician reviewing your exemption unless they ask you to contact them.

All calls asking for advice about the above prevent us from helping people with urgent health concerns quickly. Thank you as ever for your support with this request.

Covid-19 Updates -

Latest Covid Privacy Notice:

Click the link below to access the most recent version of Riversdales Covid Privacy Notice.

Updated COVID Privacy Notice

A message from Derby and Derbyshire Local Medical Committee

You will have no doubt seen reports in the national press about changes to general practice appointments and access. Unfortunately, these reports have misrepresented the current state of general practice and proposed changes and we, as the representative body of Derbyshire general practice, would like to clarify things.

General practice in Derbyshire has been open throughout the pandemic; providing patient care whilst delivering the largest scale vaccination programme in history. Our teams have followed NHS England protocols; moving overnight to use virtual consultations and triage. They have safely opened up more services as national guidance and the intensity of the pandemic allowed. During the entire pandemic, clinicians have continued to see patients face-to-face when clinically needed; always making sure that infection control and social distancing measures were in place to protect patients and staff alike.

The latest GP appointment figures in England showed that practices delivered almost 5 million more appointments in March than they did the month before, and nearly 3 million more than they did in the same month two years ago, long before the onset of the pandemic. Simply put general practice is working flat out. With this increasing patient demand, general practice will continue to work smartly to get the balance right; consulting with patients in the most appropriate fashion in as timely a manner as is possible. This means, as per the practice contract with NHS England, that it is for the surgery to determine the manner in which it sees its patients. Only by doing this can we ensure quality care is maintained for the many, rather than servicing the demands of the few.

We know it is hard to get an appointment right now. But the above figures explain that this reflects the large number of patients requesting care, not lack of activity within general practice. We are hearing increasing reports of frustration and abuse targeted at practice staff because of delays, and we are concerned that the recent media reporting will worsen this by fuelling inappropriate requests for face-to-face appointments that are not needed and cannot safely be accommodated. We would ask you all to treat each member of the practice team with respect and understanding; we will continue to support our practices and help them to take a zero tolerance approach to any forms of abuse.

We thank you for your patience and continuing to work with your surgery.

Riversdale Surgery remains open. In accordance with current guidelines, all work is carried out remotely where safe and appropriate to do so. Face to face appointments are available where clinical staff assess that this is clinically necessary. Details of our current services are on our homepage.

The COVID-19 pandemic and pressures on healthcare services over the winter means that Derbyshire healthcare services are extremely busy.  In addition, staff that normally provide frontline healthcare are being diverted to setting up and staffing COVID-19 vaccination clinics. Please help support the NHS to carry out this vital work, and to prioritise the care of people that are unwell.  For minor matters, please self-care using the NHS website or speak to a pharmacist. Please avoid contacting us for administrative matters or for information that can be found elsewhere.  Please do not contact us about your COVID-19 vaccine, wait for us to contact you.  If you need to contact us, please use our online consult system where possible.

COVID-19 Vaccine

The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine is safe and effective. It gives you the best protection against coronavirus.  We are actively involved in delivering the vaccination and the booster programme.  Please do not contact us about your appointment, please wait for us to contact you. The order in which people are eligible for the vaccine is set by national guidelines. Further information on the COVID-19 vaccination programme is available at

Riversdale Surgery is working with local practices, Belper Primary Care Network, Derbyshire Community Healthcare Services and Derbyshire CCG to deliver the COVID-19 vaccine. This will reduce the staff available for usual healthcare services. If you have a non-urgent query or problem, consider using the pharmacy, 111 or Minor Injury Units for advice where possible and appropriate.

We will also be contacting care homes and truly housebound patients to arrange vaccinations, again working with local healthcare partners.

To find out more about the vaccine please visit our Covid-19 Services page by clicking here or visit the Covid Vaccine public information page of the Joined Up Care Derbyshire Website at:

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  • Access your medical records on line - please contact the surgery for details.  Make appointments, request prescriptions through the same website. 
  • What to do when the surgery is closed - if you need urgent medical attention when the surgery is closed you should dial 111. This will connect you to the NHS 111 service free of charge which is provided by a local organisation: Derbyshire Health United. You will be assessed and directed to the most appropriate point of care for your particular needs. You can also dial 111 if you require health information
  • Patient Participation Group - our Patient group meets approximately once every two months at the Surgery, starting at 6.25 pm. Please consider joining - your views are valuable to the Surgery and the group is the appropriate conduit through which views can be expressed. Please ask for more details at reception.
  • Self help is available - information can be found on the Self Help page. 
  • Named GP - all patients have been allocated a named GP in accordance with the latest Government agenda.  If you wish to know who your named GP is please ask at Reception.  As always please book in with the Doctor of your choice as this does not mean that you should only see your named GP. 
  • childhood vaccinations.  Please see the link to the Survey that NHS England have asked us to make available to you all on our Services page, Childhood vaccinations.   

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