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How to register with a GP surgery

Anyone in England can register with a GP surgery.

You do not need proof of address or immigration status, ID or an NHS number.

You might be able to register with a GP surgery that's not in the area you live. Find out about registering with a GP surgery out of your area

Registering with a GP

Find a GP that suits what you need. You can look up GP surgeries to see what they offer and how they compare.

Because of coronavirus, try to avoid going into a GP surgery to register.

You can:

  • check the GP surgery website to see if you can register online
  • call or email the GP surgery and ask to be registered as a patient

You can download a GMS1 registration form on GOV.UK if you're asked to complete one.

If you need help to fill in forms or you are not able to register online, call the GP surgery and let them know.

Can a GP surgery refuse to register me?

A GP surgery can refuse to register you because:

  • they are not taking any new patients
  • you live outside the practice boundary and they are not accepting patients from out of their area
  • you have been removed from that GP surgery register before
  • it's a long way from your home and you need extra care, for example home visits

If you have problems registering with a GP surgery:

  • call the NHS England Customer Contact Centre on 0300 311 22 33
  • contact your local Healthwatch

Changing GP surgeries

You can change your GP surgery if you need to.

This might be because:

  • you have moved
  • you have had problems with your current practice
  • you were removed from the patient list

You should tell the GP surgery if you change address or move out of the area.

Using a GP surgery you're not registered with

You can contact any GP surgery if you need treatment and:

  • you're away from home
  • you're not registered with a GP surgery
  • it's a medical emergency

You might need to register as a temporary resident or permanent patient if you need treatment for more than 14 days.

You can register as a temporary resident for up to 3 months. You'll still be registered with your usual GP surgery if you have one.

Registering with a GP under the Mental Capacity Act

The Mental Capacity Act (MCA) is designed to protect and empower people over 16 who are unable to make decisions about their care and treatment.

If a person is unable to register with a GP because they cannot make decisions about their care, registration can be done by:

  • a relative
  • the main carer
  • a lasting power of attorney
  • a person appointed by a court under the Mental Capacity Act

Page last reviewed: 21 March 2019
Next review due: 21 March 2022