Finding a GP
The GP, the local doctor, is the first point of contact when you are ill or want health advice.
As well as doctors, many local GP practices have a team including practice nurses, sometimes counsellors and other health professionals. GPs treat many problems themselves or can refer you to a specialist. GP practices also provide information, offer advice on smoking, exercise, diet etc, run clinics, offer health-checks, give vaccinations, take blood and carry out simple operations. So you can get most of what you need done without going near a hospital.
You can use our website to find a GP near you.
How do I register with a GP?
To register just go along and ask if they're taking new patients that easy. You'll have to
- live nearby
- fill in a form (called a GMS1 if you want to see one)
- give your name, address and date of birth
If you already know your NHS number or have an NHS medical card, tell them - otherwise, don't worry.
The practice should give you a leaflet explaining what servcies they offer. When choosing a GP you might want to think about:
- how easy it is for you to get to
- parking or public transport
- opening hours (many surgeries are now open outside 'ordinary' working hours)
- appointment system - how does it work, what will happen if you need to see someone urgently, can you see a male or female doctor if you want, are there telephone appointments, online services (such as booking appointments and repeat prescriptions)
- the atmosphere and the friendliness of the staff
How do I change GP?
You can change GP, just by going along to another GP practice and asking to register. You don't have to give a reason.