Registering with a GP

All patients have the legal right to choose a GP practice that best suits their needs.

Patients are able to compare GP practices according to facilities, services, access and performance before they decide. They could also ask friends, relatives and others they trust for their thoughts and recommendations.

GP practices do not have to accept you as a patient if you do not live within their practice boundary. Practice boundary areas can be found on individual practice websites.

When you have found a practice you like and have checked they will accept you as a patient, you'll have to formally register with them as an NHS patient by completing and submitting a new patient registration. These are available from the practice.

Once you have completed and returned the form, NHS England will transfer your medical records to your new practice and write to you to confirm your registration as a patient with that practice.

Patients who are former members of the armed forces should be issued with a summary of their medical record by Defence Medical Services and this should be passed on to the new GP practice during the registration process.

It is important to note that patients should also make the practice aware they are an armed forces veteran as, depending on individual circumstances, they may be entitled to specialist care or support. More information on healthcare services for the armed forces community is available here.

You should not be refused registration or appointments just because you don’t have a proof of address or personal identification at hand as this is not considered a reasonable ground to refuse registration. This also applies if you are an asylum seeker, refugee, a homeless patient or an overseas visitor, whether lawfully in the UK or not.

If you fall under one of the above mentioned patient groups, please download one of the ‘How to register with a GP’ patient leaflets from the NHS England website, using one of the links below, and bring it with you when you register with a GP practice:

Homeless Patients Leaflet

Gypsy, Traveller and Roma Communities Leaflet

If you are still experiencing problems registering with a GP practice, there is advice on what do to and where to go for further support via the NHS England website here.

Read more about registering with a GP practice here.

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Page last updated 7 April 2021