Finding a GP

How to register with a local doctor's practice

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.

Where do I find out more?