GPs and Health Checks

Need advice and medical treatment?

If you cannot wait for a GP appointment and need non-emergency advice on medical issues, you can use the NHS 111 service. The 111 service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Contact the service via:

  • telephone: 111
  • textphone: 18001 111

Use the NHS BSL interpreter service 

For all medical emergencies dial 999.

Registering with a GP

Anyone in England can register with a GP surgery to access NHS services. It's free to register. You don't need proof of address or immigration status, ID or an NHS number.

GP surgeries are usually the first contact if you have a health problem. They can treat many conditions and give health advice. They can also refer you to other NHS services.

Most people need to register with a surgery close to where they live.

Find a GP now

Need help finding a GP? Just enter your postcode and press 'search' for a list of GPs in your area. Click/tap on the name of each GP in the list to find out:

  • Their ratings and reviews
  • Whether they are currently taking on new patients
  • What their opening times are
  • If they are accessible for wheelchair users and people who need step-free access
  • If there is car parking available
  • How to contact them to register

Problems registering with a GP

A GP surgery must accept you unless there are reasonable grounds to refuse you. Any reason to not accept you must not be due to age, gender, social class, appearance, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity or medical condition.

They must also write to you stating the reasons why they have refused you as a patient. A GP may refuse you on the grounds of:

  • having no capacity to take on new patients
  • not be accepting patients that do not live within its practice boundary
  • in your particular circumstances, it may not be appropriate for you to register with a practice that is a long way from where you live

If you are having problems registering with a GP, contact NHS England's Customer Contact Centre:

  • email:  
  • telephone: 0300 311 22 33
  • Relay UK for people who are hearing or speech impaired: dial 18001 followed by 0300 311 22 33

Going to the GP

You can make an appointment with a GP by telephone or by visiting the GP’s website. Booking online is often quicker.

You might be asked to give some details about the reason you want to visit the GP. This is to help the healthcare staff and your GP better prepare for your appointment or be able to signpost you to more suitable health practitioner.

Once you have booked your GP appointment, make sure you give yourself enough time to get there. It's important that you go to your appointment, or tell the surgery that you won't be able to come/no longer need the appointment in good time.

If you miss your appointment slot, you might need to book another appointment before being seen. If you miss a number of appointments some GPs may remove you from their patient list, meaning you'll have to find another GP.

NHS Health Check

This is a health check-up for adults in England aged 40 to 74 who do not have any of the following pre-existing conditions:

  • heart disease
  • chronic kidney disease
  • diabetes
  • high blood pressure (hypertension)
  • atrial fibrillation
  • transient ischaemic attack
  • inherited high cholesterol (familial hypercholesterolemia)
  • heart failure
  • peripheral arterial disease
  • stroke
  • currently being prescribed statins to lower cholesterol
  • previous checks have found that you have a 20% or higher risk of getting cardiovascular disease over the next 10 years

As we get older, we have a higher risk of developing one of these conditions. An NHS Health Check helps find ways to lower this risk. If you already have one of these conditions, you should already have regular check ups arranged,

Find out more about the NHS Health Check

Learning Disabilities Annual Health Checks

Learning Disabilities Annual Health Checks are for adults and young people aged 14 or over with a learning disability.

During the health check, the GP or practice nurse will:

  • carry out a physical check-up such as measuring your height and weight, blood pressure
  • talk to you about your lifestyle such as diet and exercise and try to help you find solutions to help you live a healthier life.
  • discuss any other health issues you may have such as epilepsy
  • talk to you about and review any medication or treatments you are having

If your learning disability has a specific cause, the GP or practice nurse will often carry out additional tests to check if there are any other health risks.

Adults and young people aged 14 or over with a learning disability that are on the GP practice learning disability register should be invited by their GP practice to come for an annual health check. However, you can talk to your GP about having your annual health check-up.

More about annual health checks