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Accessing GP services

Anyone in England can visit a GP practice and use their services.

You do not need to be registered at that practice or prove your identity, address or immigration status.

Registering with a GP is free of charge. There is no cost to making an appointment or using core NHS services. 

What Registering means 

Registering with a GP practice means they are responsible for your overall care and will hold your medical records.

Your GP practice should be the first place you go for non-emergency medical help. You can be assessed, offered treatment for many health conditions or referred to other NHS services.

You will continue to be registered with a practice indefinitely unless you decide to join a new practice, for example, if you have moved to a new area. 

On rare occasions, practices may take the step to remove a patient from their list in the event of unacceptable behaviour or a breakdown in relations. 

Who can Register?

GP services are available to anyone regardless of race, religion, nationality, ethnicity, age, ability, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Anyone aged 16 or over can register with a GP on their own. Parents or guardians can register a dependent, as can a carer for someone they look after.

You do not need to provide proof of your identity or address, but it helps to connect your medical records if you can, especially if you have been registered with another GP. 

How to Register

Many GP practices now offer online registration directly through the NHS website.

Go to nhs.uk/service-search/find-a-gp, enter your postcode and if the practice you want to join shows ‘Register online with the GP message’, then you can go ahead.

Registering online is straightforward, with nothing to print or download. It shouldn’t take more than 15 minutes; if you know your NHS number, it is even quicker.

The form will also allow you to register a child or other dependent for who you are responsible.

Once you have completed the online form, it will be sent to the practice who will review and process your application.

If you are unable to register online, you can download and complete a paper registration form and take it to your practice. We would encourage patients to use the online registration where possible, as it is quicker and easier for patients and practices.

Can I see a Doctor at another Practice?

You can receive emergency treatment from any GP for up to 14 days. If you need treatment for longer than that, registering as a temporary resident will mean we can continue to see you for up to 3 months. 

You will remain registered with your current practice during this time, and we will share any treatment you receive or other information with them.

After those three months, you would need to switch and become a permanent resident.