Doctors in Cumbria

How do I register with a GP?

Choose the GP surgery that you want to register with and check it covers the area where you live.  You can find a GP near you on NHS Choices.

Registering with a GP surgery

Contact the GP surgery and ask to register with them. They will usually ask you to complete a form called a GMS1, giving details such as:

  • your name and address
  • your date of birth
  • your NHS number (if you know it)
  • other information, such as the name and address of your previous GP

Some GP surgeries will also ask to see proof of your identity, for example:

  • photo identity, such as your passport or driving licence
  • proof of your address, such as a recent utility bill (gas, electricity, water or phone bill, but not a mobile phone bill) or council tax bill

The GP surgery will send the GMS1 to the local Primary Care Trust (PCT), who will write to you confirming that you’re registered with the surgery. Your medical records will be transferred to the new surgery.

Temporary registration

If you want to see a GP and are visiting an area for more than 24 hours but less than three months, you can apply to register with a GP surgery as a temporary resident. The application can be made using form GMS3.

NHS medical cards

The GP surgery may ask you for your NHS medical card or your NHS number. However, you don’t need either of these to register with a GP or to get NHS treatment.

When you register with a GP, some PCTs will send you a new NHS medical card. However, not all PCTs issue medical cards and some will only do so on request.

Can I register with a specific GP?

You will be registered with the GP surgery, rather than an individual GP.

If you prefer to see a specific GP, the surgery can note this in your records. However, you may have to:

  • wait longer to see your preferred GP
  • see someone else if your preferred GP is unavailable

Health checks

When you register with a new GP surgery, you’ll be invited to make an appointment for a health check within six months.

Health checks are usually done by the practice nurse, who will ask you about your personal and family medical history. They will also ensure that any tests or checks you need are up to date, such as measuring your blood pressure or arranging cervical screening.

What if the surgery doesn’t accept me?

Sometimes, you may not be able to register with a GP surgery, for example if:

  • You live outside the area that the surgery covers.
  • The surgery is not accepting new patients.

You will need to register with another GP surgery in your area instead.

How your local PCT can help

If you have difficulty finding a GP or registering, contact your local primary care trust (PCT). You can find your PCT:

  • using the NHS Choices services directory
  • in the phone book, under Health Services, in the A-Z listing of local businesses and services

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