Accessing local GP services

Caring for you during the co-vid 19 lockdown

During the lockdown, people can still contact their GPs by calling for appointments as they would normally. Patients who require medical advice will be given a video or telephone consultation and only asked to visit the practice if this is deemed necessary by the clinical team. This will reduce the risk to you and the clinical team and is in line with current lockdown guidance.

It is important that anyone who has symptoms of co-vid 19 does not leave home and this includes going to their GP practice. GPs will be there to provide care for those who need it for all other medical conditions and concerns, including for those with long term conditions and for those needing immunisations. Patients can also continue to access the out-of-hours GP services provided by hubs across the borough. These appointments can be booked through your practice or if the practice is closed, their automated message will contain the number to call for your local out-of-hours service.

How to register with a local GP practice

If you are not registered with a GP visit the NHS website at www.nhs.uk to find your nearest GP practice by simply entering your post code. You can also use this service to find your local pharmacy, dentist, A&E and urgent care centre.

When you have found a practice you like, you'll have to formally register with it as an NHS patient by submitting a registration form to them which the practice will give you.

Your chosen practice may request proof of address/ proof of ID in order to register you. You should not be refused registration or appointments because you do not have a proof of address or personal identification at hand.

If you're homeless, you're still entitled to register with a GP using a temporary address, which may be a friend's address or a day centre. (Some GP practices have used their own address in the past to register a homeless patient.)

If you're an asylum seeker, refugee or overseas visitor, whether lawfully in the UK or not, download one of the "How to register with a GP" patient leaflets from the NHS website and bring it with you when you go to register with a GP practice.

How to get the most out of your GP appointment?

Please download this helpful guide on how to get the most out of your GP appointment.

Our top tips on getting the most out of your appointment includes:

  • Be friendly – to all members of the staff you encounter especially the reception staff. Use polite language that will help you to be listened to.
  • Being empowered, your voice counts - remember you are in control of your care. Be confident to talk through why you are there.
  • Be prepared – think about what you would like to discuss and the outcome of the appointment. Be on time and explain your symptoms as best as possible including what medications/drugs/alcohol you currently take.
  • Be clear – before leaving your appointment make sure you understood everything that was clear. Write things down if it will help you remember.