How to register with a GP Practice

When registering with a GP you have a legal right to choose a GP practice that best suits your individual needs. If there is space for new patients you can register with any GP in your local area.

You might want to consider comparing GP Practices before you decide to register, this could be according to access, facilities, services and performance.

You can ask for recommendations from friends, relatives, housing case worker or local organisations such as schools, mosques, temples, libraries and churches or look on the NHS Choices website

Help to complete GP registration form

A GP practice cannot refuse you, unless there are reasonable grounds to do so.

Under no circumstance these should not relate to race, gender, social class, age religion, sexual orientation, appearance, disability or medical condition.

If you are refused the opportunity to register with a GP you should receive this in writing explaining the reasons why have been refused.

You can ask at the GP reception about registering with a GP, you will be asked to complete a GMS1 registration form or you can download it from GOV.UK

If you need help with completing the form, there are local organisations that support asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants may be able to help you fill in the GMS1 form. If there is no help available you can ask the GP receptionist to book an appointment for you to have an interpreter who can help you to complete the form, you will not be charged for this service.

The patient should be registered on application or unless there are reasonable grounds where it has been agreed by commissioners that practice can close their list to taking on new patients or the patient lives outside of their practice boundary area.

How to register with a GP under the Mental Health Capacity Act

The Mental Capacity Act is designed to protect and empower individuals who may lack the capacity to make their own decisions about their care and treatment.

The MCA law applies to individuals aged 16 years and over

The Mental Capacity Act provides individuals with the opportunity to express their preferences. If they lack capacity in the future it allows them to appoint someone they can trust to act on their behalf.

If the individual lack capacity to register themselves with a GP, this can be done on behalf of the patient by a relative, carer, friend, a person appointed by a court order under the Mental Capacity Act or a lasting power of attorney.

An independent advocate can support patients to make certain decisions in the best interest of the patient. These may include; serious treatment, significant restrictions placed on their freedom and rights.

NHS guidelines for registering patients

When you register some GP practice may request proof of identity, especially when registering children in your care. This is to ensure that your details match with the information that is held on the NHS central patient registry.

The NHS guidelines say patients who cannot provide proof of identity or any supportive documents but states that they reside within the practices catchment area, the practice should accept registration.

You should not be refused registration even if you don’t have proof of address or personal identification.

If you are an asylum seeker, refugee, homeless patient or overseas visitor whether lawfully in the UK or not, you should not be refused registration.

Registering has a homeless patient

If you are experiencing homeless you can register with a GP using a temporary address of a friend or day centre. GP practices have been known use their own address to register a homeless patient.

Information for those moving or visiting England

You can access GP services without charge, even if you are not a resident in England. However, you may be charged if you need a hospital admission or other specialist treatment.

Registering as a temporary resident

If you were away from home and became ill, you could contact the nearest GP practice and ask for treatment. You can receive emergency treatment up to 14 days. After 14 days you will be registered as a temporary resident.

To make a complaint you can make a complaint by