You can register with a GP practice, as long as the GP is accepting new patients. You can find a GP near you on CompareDrs.com.
So that you know what to expect from a GP you can download a copy of It’s Your Practice: A patient guide to GP services (PDF, 1.92Mb), which was produced by the Royal College of General Practitioners to help you choose – and get the most from – a GP practice. It was produced before the 2013 NHS re-organisation and so refers to some organisations and procedures that no longer exist. But it still contains a great deal of helpful information about GP practices themselves.
The General Medical Council (GMC) have also produced a document, What to expect from your doctor: Guide for patients to help you with your decision.
When you have found a practice you like, you’ll have to formally register with it as an NHS patient by submitting a registration form to them. They will ask you to complete a form GMS1 (PDF, 72kb), giving details such as: – Your name and address
– Your date of birth
– Your NHS number (if you know it)
– Other information, such as the name and address of your previous GP
– Your views on organ donation
This form should be available at the practice, or you can download from above.
Some GP surgeries will also ask to see proof of your identity. For example, they may ask to see:
– Photo identity, such as your passport or driving licence
– Proof of your address, such as a recent council tax bill or utility bill (a gas, electricity, water or phone bill, but not a mobile phone bill)
Parents or guardians can register a baby at a practice by completing and presenting form FP58 (PDF, 34kb), which is issued at the same time as a birth certificate.
The GP surgery will send the GMS1 to your local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG). Your medical records will then be transferred to the new surgery.
If you want to see a GP and are visiting an area for more than 24 hours but less than three months, you can apply to register with a GP surgery as a temporary resident. The application can be made using form GMS3 (PDF, 80kb).
The GP surgery may ask you for your NHS medical card or your NHS number. However, you don’t need either of these to register with a GP or to get NHS treatment.
When you register with a GP, some CCG’s will send you a new NHS medical card. However, not all CCG’s issue medical cards and some will only do so on request.
You will be registered with the GP surgery, rather than an individual GP. If you prefer to see a specific GP, the surgery can note this in your records.
However, you may have to:
– Wait longer to see your preferred GP
– See someone else if your preferred GP is unavailable
Sometimes you may not be able to register with a GP surgery. For example, this can be if:
– You live outside the area that the surgery covers
– The surgery is not accepting new patients
A practice cannot refuse you unless it has reasonable grounds for doing so. These must not relate to race, gender, social class, age, religion, sexual orientation, appearance, disability or a medical condition. It must also give you reasons for its decision in writing.
You will need to register with another GP surgery in your area instead.
If you want to change your GP, visit the GP surgery you want to join and ask them to register you as a patient.
Most people change their GP when they move to a new area.
You don’t have to tell your current GP that you want to change. However, if you do, it could speed up the process of transferring your medical records.
You don’t have to tell the new GP surgery why you want to change, either.
You’ll need to fill in a registration form. A request will then be made to your current GP for your medical records to be transferred to the new GP surgery.
Primary care is the first point of contact for most people and is delivered by a wide range of independent contractors, including GPs, dentists, pharmacists and optometrists, including NHS walk-in centres and the NHS 111 telephone service.
Under current rules anyone can register with a GP practice in England and receive free primary care. A GP practice can only refuse an application to join its list of NHS patients where it has reasonable grounds for doing so: for example, if their lists are closed to new patients, the applicant lives in a different practice’s boundary area, or in other rare circumstances.
Once registered as a NHS patient, primary care services provided by a GP practice are free, but secondary care services (such as a referral to a specialist) are not free simply because you’re registered with a GP.
Regardless of your residential status or nationality, you’re entitled to free emergency NHS treatment from:
– A primary care practice, such as a GP practice
– An A&E department
– An NHS walk-in centre
However, people who are not entitled to live in the UK permanently or whose application is being considered by the Home Office will have to pay NHS charges for emergency treatment if they are:
– Admitted to hospital as an inpatient (this includes high dependency units and other emergency treatment, such as operations), or
– Registered at an outpatient clinic
Adapted from: NHS CHOICES
You may need a report from your General Practitioner about your treatment, condition etc
GPs have no contractual obligation to complete these reports so therefore they may attract a fee. This fee needs to take into account their professional time and expertise along with an administration charge.