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 the services that pharmacists provide.

You can still phone the GP practice outside normal surgery hours, but you'll usually be directed to an out-of-hours service if there is one. 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.

How to make a booking

Your surgery should be able to offer you an appointment to see a GP or other healthcare professional quickly, if necessary. However, if it is more convenient, you should also be able to book appointments in advance. For more help, read: How quickly can I see a GP?

Patients in some areas can now get appointments with a GP or other healthcare professional in the evening and at the weekend, either at their own GP surgery or in a local general practice hub. Ask your surgery receptionist if this is available in your area.

For routine appointments, you may be able to book online. Many GPs now offer online services, which allow you to book/cancel your appointment or order a repeat prescription. Some surgeries are also introducing new ways to consult a GP or other healthcare professional, including online or over the phone. Check with the receptionist or practice manager for more details.Tip

If you don't feel confident using the internet, read how to become a confident internet user.

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