We understand there can be certain circumstances where you may want to move from being under the care of your current GP.
There can be many reasons for this, including moving out of the area, being unhappy with your doctor or having problems with your existing practice.
If this is the case, you are perfectly entitled to ask to see another doctor within the surgery, or you can easily move to another GP practice if they have the capacity for new patients.
But, if you’ve decided to move your GP, it’s important to do your research to understand exactly what you’re looking for in your new practice.
So, how do you go about finding your next GP?
The team at Quick Doctors have explored the steps you need to take to ensure you find a medical professional that works for the needs of you and your family:
How to choose a GP?
If you’ve made the decision to move your practice, you can view a list of local GP’s by visiting the NHS Choices website.
You can type in your town, postcode or use the handy ‘use your location’ button to discover a list of all the nearby GP’s in your boundary area.
The list contains contact details for each surgery including:
- the address and telephone number of the surgery
- the gender of the GP
- the languages spoken by the GP
- the particular health interests of the surgery (if applicable)
- whether the GP offers minor surgery
- whether the GP offers contraceptive and/or maternity services
- and the GP’s deputising arrangements
You can alternatively speak to your local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and explain your situation.
The CCG service will similarly provide you with a list of alternative GP’s and information on how to go about changing to a different practice.
Suppose you’re still unsure about the particular surgery you’d like to move to.
In that case, it’s worth speaking to trusted family members and friends to provide recommendations for reliable GP’s in your area.
And, it’s important to note that, as of 2021, it can now be even easier to be more selective surrounding your preferred practice.
Since 2015, it was made possible for practices in England to register new patients who live outside the boundary area for their surgery.
As long as a GP has the capacity, and you live within this newly extended boundary area, there is no reason that a practice should not accept you.
The only other cases where a surgery would not accept you are:
- if you’ve been removed from the register before,
- or the practice is a distance from your home, and you require additional care.
If this is the case, a GP will have to inform you in writing if they are not able to accept you as a patient.
Once you can move your GP and have been accepted by another, you will need to register with your new surgery directly.
Each surgery will require you to fill out a GMS1, a family doctor services registration form, but some practices may have its own unique version.
As part of the application process, you will also be asked to provide proof of identity and address, such as a passport and a utility bill.
It may be worth ensuring you also have your NHS number to hand too, which will be included on any NHS letters or forms of correspondence you have received in the past.
When you have completed the application process, your medical records will be sent to your new practice, and you can book an appointment with your new GP immediately.
But, it’s important to be aware that GP’s across the country are under great strain due to a backlog of missed appointments following the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a recent survey by GP Patient, 44% of patients are struggling to get face-to-face appointments with their chosen GP at a convenient time that fits in with their busy lifestyle.
With staff shortages and issues surrounding stress causing GP surgeries to run on low capacity, you may experience long waiting times for an appointment when joining a new surgery.
In fact, Pulse, the medical journal, revealed that appointment waiting times were at an all-time high, taking, on average, more than two weeks to see a GP in the UK.
So, how can you take the strain off your local GP surgery?
Well, there is a way to speak with a trained medical professional at a time that’s convenient to you, in the comfort of your own home.
Introducing, Quick Doctors.
An app available to you at any time, anywhere, Quick Doctors allows you to talk through your ailments with a trained GP via message, call, or video chat; whichever method suits you.
Whether it’s a weekend, out of hours or even a bank holiday, Quick Doctors is here to help you and your family 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by providing at-home consultations for an affordable monthly fee.
Most appointments can be made within the same day, and all your records will be shared safely with your new GP to allow them to maintain a complete picture of your health.
For busy families and full-time workers, Quick Doctors allows you to stay on top of you and your family’s health without the fuss of making regular appointments to see your GP face to face.
Stay in the know surrounding your health by blending the convenience of Quick Doctors with the benefits of seeing your chosen GP in person, allowing the two services to work together effectively.
Download the Quick Doctors app on the Apple App Store or via Google Play.