Further Information

Welcome to the Harrold Medical Practice, serving the population of Harrold and the surrounding villages. We aim to provide you with a high level of medical care and to be friendly, approachable and accessible. Above all we are respectful to all our patients.

Blood test appointments

Patients are now able to book blood test appointments at Gilbert Hitchcock House (North Wing) by:

Using the online booking service (available 24/7). Patients will need to register online at www.bedford.sangix.co.uk

Booking an appointment in person by visiting the department.

A limited walk-in service will remain. Patients will be given an appointment, if available, at the next appointment time for that day, or offered an appointment for another day.

Children’s Blood Tests

Children Phlebotomy Poster

This page contains information and links to resources on how you could reduce the risk of contracting Coronavirus, and also information on ways to help you reduce the severity of symptoms should you contract Coronavirus.

Whilst we cannot guarantee that your symptoms will be less severe, there is growing evidence that a healthy BMI and respiratory system, along with overall wellbeing, are contributory factors in reducing your risk*.

Top 4 Things

1. Wash your hands


2. Social distancing


3. Wear a mask


4. Get tested if you have symptoms


Better Health Campaign

The Better Health Campaign is recently launched government programme that can help with weight loss and increased activity


You can also self-refer to the Lifestyle hub for support with weight loss and exercise here


The NHS BMI calculator can be used to help you monitor your progress


The Couch to 5K programme can be accessed here


If you have already completed the Couch to 5K programme, you can find tips on how to continue and stay motivated here


The charity Caraline offers support to people living with eating disorders. You can self-refer to the service here


Stop Smoking

The stop smoking service offers specialist help and support, along with the option for Stop Smoking medication


Mental Health

Every Mind Matters has expert advice and practical tips to help you look after your mental health and wellbeing, and addresses the challenges we all face with Coronavirus


You can self-refer to the Bedfordshire Wellbeing Service here


Kooth is a free, safe and anonymous online chat service which is available to young people aged 11 to 25


Samaritans offer a safe place for you to talk any time you like, in your own way – about whatever’s getting to you. You don’t have to be suicidal. Call Samaritans free, 24 hours a day 365 days a year on 116123



There is lots of help around sleep on Every Mind matters


Sleepstation is a clinically validated sleep improvement programme that can help you sleep better after just 4 sessions. Some options are available on the NHS


Flu Vaccinations

If you are eligible, you should have the flu vaccination. Whilst this does not protect you from Coronavirus, it will give you some immunity from flu, which like Coronavirus, is predominantly a respiratory illness

*source: www.gov.uk/government/news/excess-weight-can-increase-risk-of-serious-illness-and-death-from-covid-19

Your plasma might save lives! The NHS Blood and Transplant are asking 18-65 year old males who have had COVID-19 to donate their plasma (antibodies) as part of research into new treatments. For more details, visit : www.nhsbt.nhs.uk/how-you-can-help/convalescent-plasma-clinical-trial/. Thank you.

COVID – Advice when isolating at home

To apply for a CoronaVirus Test, please visit www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test.

Patients who have planned operations are asked to self-isolate for two weeks prior to the surgery. Please do not ask your GP or the hospital to provide a sick note – if you require a sick note to cover absence from work, you can obtain this by following this link: 111.nhs.uk/isolation-note

To participate in the clinical trial by donating blood plasma, you can sign up for this through the NHS Blood and Transplant site at www.nhsbt.nhs.uk/how-you-can-help/convalescent-plasma-clinical-trial. If you have had a positive test result for Covid-19, or have had symptoms, you may be able to help.

Coronavirus vaccine research

Vaccines are the most effective way to prevent infectious diseases.They’re designed so they do not give people the infection they’re protecting against.Research into vaccines is the only way to find out which vaccines will work. Researchers need people to take part in their studies so they can find out which possible new vaccine works best. Visit www.nhs.uk/coronavirus-vaccine-research to find out more about taking part in approved UK coronavirus vaccine studies.

Free Online Courses to Support Your Wellbeing

Parent Information leaflet – where and how to seek help when your child is unwell.

Red Cross Support Services – for Bedford Borough Residents.

This link will take you to the self-isolation and symptom treatment approach www.nhs.uk/self-isolation-and-treatment

For patients needing help while self-isolating please contact Bedford Borough Council.

The following link contains information on local support, but also a wide range of links to activities and resources – www.yourwellbeingbedfordshire.org.uk/self-isolating-need-something-to-do/.

To access resources on mental health and wellbeing during this period of crisis, please go to www.gov.uk/covid-19-guidance-for-the-public-on-mental-health-and-wellbeing.

Luton & Bedfordshire Mental Health Crisis Support – To access mental health support in the event of a crisis, contact 111 option 2.

Useful videos by the Association of Palliative Medicine on Care Planning; hoping for the best and preparing for the worst: apmonline.org/news-events/covid-19-resources-for-the-public/.

If you have a musculoskeletal issue, please visit our musculoskeletal information page for further information.

Never Alone – Helplines

Q&A from Cancer Charities – update 18th May 2020

Advice for Parents

The following links have a variety of resources for parents:

Advice for parents leaflet.

RCPH: What to do if your child is unwell during lockdown

A guide for parents on which service to contact during Covid-19.

Advance Care Plans

If you wish to complete your Advance Care Plan for Covid-19, guidance notes and a template are available here.

Please note that this is not a Do Not Resuscitate order, and you will need to speak with your GP should you want further information on this

As the coronavirus pandemic affects all areas of our lives and lockdown, furlough and job uncertainty make everyone think differently, we have pulled together a list of resources that may help.


Call us if you need support from the foodbank – we can provide you with a voucher code which can be used for 3 days emergency food supply and personal items. (If you are self-isolating, someone can attend the foodbank to collect on your behalf – you will need to contact the foodbank to advise them).

There are various locations around Bedford, follow the link below to view specific locations and opening times.

Let us know which foodbank you will use so we can issue you with the appropriate code.


Below are some useful links on how to eat well on a budget:

www.nutrition.org.uk – Healthy eating on a budget

www.bhf.org.uk – Healthy eating on a budget

Below is a link with information on how to reduce food waste:


Financial health

Our social prescriber can work with you to support you with your finances and create a financial recovery plan.

If you would like to be referred to the social prescriber, send us a message through the website outlining the reason for the referral. A member of the team may contact you if we require additional information; otherwise we will refer you directly.

www.stepchange.org is a charity that can give practical advice on how to manage any debts you may have.

www.entitledto.co.uk offers a benefits calculator that can check if you are entitled to any benefits.

The ‘Browse: How benefits work’ page on the Gov.uk website lists all available benefits, with links to allow you to apply.

The ‘Benefits’ page on the Citizens Advice website includes information on benefits you may be entitled to during coronavirus.

www.benefitsguide.co.uk is charity that has some useful information on benefits.

Mental Health

If you need to speak to someone the Samaritans are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. You can call them for free on 116 123.

Below are some useful links:




Young people

Below are links to some services that offer support specifically for young people:

www.kooth.com (free, safe & anonymous online chat service available to young people aged 11-25)

www.bedfordopendoor.org.uk (free and confidential counselling for young people aged 13-25)

Find digital tools on the NHS Digital Apps website to help you manage and improve your health, sourced by the NHS. These can be downloaded on any Apple or Android device and there are plenty of apps to help you with long term conditions and other health related issues. These include the following list:


Stress and Anxiety Companion

Catch It

Calm Harm

Active 10 Walking Tracker



Sugar Smart

Be Food Smart

Easy Meals

Couch to 5k

BMI Calculator

Smart Recipes

We offer parking facilities for the disabled and our premises are on one level offering easy access for wheelchairs, prams etc. There are also disabled toilet facilities available.

Home visits are for those patients who are too ill to travel to the surgery for a consultation. Requests for home visits should be made before 10.30am. This is to ensure that the doctor can schedule home visits between surgeries. Timing of visits will depend on the doctor’s workload.

Our Equality and Diversity policies are updated annually, and our staff complete annual mandatory training.

We aim to provide a confidential service and respect the rights of all patients and help them access the care they need.

We do not discriminate on gender, gender identity, marital status, pregnancy and maternity, sexual orientation, race, colour, nationality, religion or belief, age or disability.

Useful links:

Good Practice Guide to monitoring Sexual Orientation LGBT Report pdf (thegoodpractice.london)

Information for trans and non-binary people – NHS Screening Programmes NHS population screening: information for trans and non-binary people – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

New PHE Screening leaflet for trans and non-binary people has improved awareness – PHE Screening (blog.gov.uk)

There is usually a charge for non NHS work (private insurance reports/ to whom it may concern letters etc).

The doctors do this work outside of their consulting hours, in their own time.

The charge varies depending on the work involved.

You will be informed of the charge when you item is ready to collect, which will usually be around 3 weeks after it is submitted to us.

The impact of COVID-19 saw a drastic reduction in routine care being delivered across the whole of the NHS.  Nationally, this added to existing backlogs of care episodes already outstanding.  The Integrated Care Board for BLMK (formerly the Clinical Commissioning Group) and Bedford, Luton & Dunstable Hospitals have put together information to provide support to patients living in the BLMK area whilst waiting for treatment, as set provided below.

We would encourage anyone waiting for planned care to look at the websites below first, where you will hopefully find all the information you need.  If you cannot find what you are looking for or require further information, please contact your GP practice or the hospital.

My Hospital Journey

A web page has been developed, which is available on the Bedfordshire Hospitals Trust website to provide you with information on why there are long waits in the system in certain departments, what is being done to reduce the waiting lists, how we are working to keep you safe when attending hospital for appointments, how and when you will be communicated with, how you can manage your condition while you wait, and how you can prepare for surgery to ensure you are fit enough for it to proceed when your appointment is issued to avoid any further delays.

The link below will take you to the ‘My Hospital Journey’ web page for Bedford and Luton & Dunstable Hospitals.

My hospital journey – Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust

There is also information on these pages where you can follow a link to view average waiting time information for each department and find further help whilst you are waiting, including links to information about the NHS App and the platforms developed by NHS England/NHS Improvement: My Planned Care and Decision Support tools. More information on these platforms are detailed below:


Owned and run by the NHS, the NHS App is a simple and secure way to access a range of NHS services on your smartphone and iPad/tablet, including ordering/managing prescriptions/repeat prescriptions, viewing health information, managing appointments and referrals, and much, much more.

You can also access the NHS App services from the browser on your desktop or laptop computer. To find out more about what the NHS App can offer simply go to: https://www.nhs.uk/nhs-app/

My Planned Care

This online platform contains average waiting time information for 1st Outpatient Appointment and further treatment for each speciality under the Hospital Trust.

The platform includes helpful advice and information such as how to manage pain, finding mental health support, keeping healthy, and information for accessing financial help and other local support whilst you wait.  It can also help you to prepare for your appointment or operation, including how to form a plan for your care and treatment alongside your healthcare professional.

Updated weekly, the site is easy-to-use and has ‘open-access’ so carers, friends, relatives and NHS teams can also easily access this information.

Bedfordshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust – My Planned Care NHS

Decision Support Tools

NHS England has added new information to their website to support shared decision making between you, as a patient, and your clinician. We hope you will find they are useful before, during or between consultations, depending on your care pathway.  They can help you to understand your condition, the treatment options available to you and support you to make a decision on the best treatment option for you depending on your personal circumstances and desired outcome.

NHS England » Decision support tools: making a decision about a health condition