Visits to a GP surgery are free, but you usually need to make an appointment.
Before you make an appointment to see your GP, please consider the alternatives.
Your first stop should be the NHS111 website or phone line. These two resources may be able to help you find a more appropriate way to get the right advice or help.
Your local pharmacist may also be able to give you the help you need, so you won’t have to spend time waiting for an appointment.
Pharmacists are highly trained healthcare professionals, and may offer a wider range of health services than you think.
How to make a booking
When you call your surgery, please be patient as practices get lots of calls for appointments and may not be able to answer your call immediately.
The staff who answer the call are trained to ask questions which will help them work out the most appropriate pathway for you.
Most practices will offer an initial telephone appointment, during which a healthcare professional will either be able to provide you with advice or organise treatment. They may also book a face-to-face appointment if they feel this is appropriate for you.
Evening and weekend appointments
You can now see a GPs or another healthcare professional on:
weekday evenings between 6.30pm and 8pm
Saturdays and Sundays
To book an appointment, call your GP surgery or visit their website. You may be able to get an appointment on the same day, if required.
When your GP surgery is closed
If you phone your GP surgery outside normal surgery hours, a recorded message will tell you who to contact.
Alternatively, you can call NHS 111 if you urgently need medical help or advice but it’s not a life-threatening situation.
You can also call NHS 111 if you’re not sure which NHS service you need.
Booking appointments online
Many GPs now offer GP online services, which allow you to book or cancel your appointment, or order a repeat prescription.
Some surgeries are also introducing new ways to consult a GP or another healthcare professional, including online or over the phone. Check with the receptionist or practice manager for more details.
You have the legal right to ask to see a particular doctor or nurse at the GP surgery.