GP appointments and bookings

Visits to the surgery are free, but you'll usually need to make an appointment.

Before you make an appointment to see your GP, consider the alternatives.

Your local pharmacist may 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 health professionals, and may offer a wider range of health services than you might think.

Read about services that pharmacists provide.

How to make a booking

Your surgery should be able to offer you an appointment to see a GP or another healthcare professional quickly, if necessary.

If it's not urgent, you should also be able to book appointments in advance.

Evening and weekend appointments

You can now see a GP or another healthcare professional on:

  • weekday evenings between 6.30pm and 8pm
  • Saturdays and Sundays

To book an appointment, talk to your GP practice or visit their website. You may be able to get an appointment on the same day, if required.

You may be offered an appointment at:

  • your GP practice
  • another local GP practice
  • another local NHS service, such as a General Practice Hub

When your surgery is closed

If you phone the GP practice 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 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 practice. For more information, see Can I choose to see a male or female GP?

Page last reviewed: 13/01/2016
Next review due: 13/01/2019