Your local GP practice
GPs and their practice teams deal with a whole range of health problems. They also:
- provide health education
- offer advice on stopping smoking and diet
- run clinics
- give vaccinations
- and may carry out simple surgical operations.
You can book appointments with both male and female prescribing clinicians at your practice and you can pre-book appointments up to one month in advance.
If your child (aged under 12) has an urgent clinical need, you can access help from a prescribing clinician at your practice on the same day (Monday to Friday).
GP surgeries often employ other health care professionals in addition to doctors who are highly skilled and experienced in supporting patients with a range of health care needs. Most people are aware that they can see their Practice Nurse for:
- travel vaccinations
- flu vaccinations
- cervical smears
- childhood immunisations
- blood pressure checks
However many Practice Nurses and Advanced Nurse Practitioners provide other services for example manging long term conditions such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), hypertension (high blood pressure) and diabetes.
Practice Nurses also work alongside Healthcare Assistants, who provide invaluable support and assist them to providing patients with services to meet their health care needs.
Many General Practice Nurses are able to prescribe a wide range of medication, including your repeat medication, nurses have been prescribing in general practice now for almost 15 years.
In addition, your practice team will include a practice manager, receptionists and other staff. It is best to ask the reception staff if there is another member of the team who will be able to provide the service you need as different practices have staff with different skills, experience and expertise.
To find out more about the services available at your local GP practice or members of staff visit the NHS website and use the “services near you” facility to look up a GP practice or alternatively, you can check with the practice directly.
Choosing a GP practice
You have the right to choose a GP practice that best suits your needs. Before you decide, try comparing GP practices according to:
- access, and
Can I change GP practice?
You have the right to change practices if you wish to. Many people switch practices because they have moved into a new area or have moved outside the catchment area of their current practice.
Whatever your reason, you can change practices without having to give a reason. However, it is helpful to tell the practice you are leaving. You can then approach another practice and apply to join its list of patients.
Registering with a GP
A GP practice will mainly take new patients who live within their catchment area, so when you have found a practice you like in your local area, you’ll have to formally register. You can submit your registration to the practice as an NHS patient by following these simple steps:
- Submit a registration form to the practice of your choice. The form is available in the practice.
- Complete and return the form to the GP practice.
- Once the transfer has been agreed, NHS England will transfer your medical records to your new practice.
- You will receive written authorisation confirming your registration as a patient with that practice.
If you are a parent or guardian, you can register a new born baby at a practice by completing and presenting the FP58 form, which is issued at the same time as a birth certificate.
Some GP practices may ask for proof of identity when you register, especially when you register children in your care. This may be used to check your details match with the information held on the NHS central patient registry and that your previous medical notes are passed on to the new practice.
Local GP practices
Find details of local GP practices here.
Opening times and extended working hours
Find out about GP opening times, extended working hours and instructions for how to get urgent medical care out of hours here.
Find out about GP online services here.
Find out more about our new care navigator scheme here.