Anyone in England can register with a GP surgery. It’s free to register.
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
GP surgeries are usually the first contact if you have a health problem. They can treat many conditions and give health advice. They can also refer you to other NHS services.
Registering with a GP
Find a GP that suits what you need. Some GP surgeries offer more services than others. You can look up GP surgeries to see what they offer and how they compare.
Because of coronavirus (COVID-19), try to avoid going into a GP surgery to register.
- 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.
You do not need proof of ID to register with a GP, but it might help of you have one or more of the following:
- birth certificate
- HC2 certificate
- rough sleepers’ identity badge
- hostel or accommodation registration or mail forwarding letter
If you’re homeless, you can give a temporary address, such as a friend’s address, a day centre or the GP surgery address.
If you need to help registering with a GP surgery
If you need help registering or filling in forms, call the GP surgery and let them know.
You could also ask for help from:
- local organisations – for example if you’re homeless you could ask a centre that supports homeless people
- Citizens Advice
- your local Healthwatch
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:
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