GP practices are the first point of contact with the NHS for most patients. A GP practice is a team of health professionals, led by GPs, who look after all the physical, mental and social aspects of you and your family’s health.
Through your GP practice you can receive a wide range of services, including:
- Consultations and advice about your health
- Prescriptions for medicines
- Tests to diagnose what is wrong with you
- A referral to a specialist service
- Monitoring and care for any long term health problems.
- Screening, vaccinations and advice to help prevent health problems or diagnosing them as early as possible.
The population in the UK is ageing and growing. As people get older and because of the lifestyles we lead, people have more medical problems. This means there are more people needing the care of their GP practice.
Practices are increasingly working in new ways nowadays to make sure everyone gets the care they need from a suitably qualified healthcare professional, as quickly
In this section, you can learn how local practices are doing this, what you can expect and how this affects you as a patient.
Not registered with a GP?
If you are not yet registered with a local GP practice, you should do so as soon as possible to ensure that you can receive medical treatment when you need it. Don’t wait until you are ill.
How to register with a GP practice
How to register
1. Find a GP that you would like to register with and contact them to ask permission.
2. They will usually ask you to complete a form giving details such as:
- your name and address
- your date of birth
- you NHS number (if you know it)
- other information, such as the name and address of you previous GP
3. You will need to take the form into your chosen GP practice. Some GP surgeries will also ask to see proof of your identity.
4. You will be sent a letter confirming that you have been registered. Your medical records will then be transferred.
Finding a GP
You can find your nearest GP using the NHS “Find services” directory
Alternatively, call NHS 111
Healthwatch also offers a signposting service to give you information and help you to find out about the choices available to you. You can find out more here