The healthcare system in the United Kingdom is a bit different than in other places around the world. Below, you’ll find our guide to the NHS and how to access any care you may need.
As a UK taxpayer, you will be able to take advantage of our free healthcare service known as the NHS (National Health Service). It’s a very straightforward registration process; instead of going to the central service, you’ll find the doctor, known as a GP (General Practitioner) closest to you and register there. You’ll need a proof of address and some form of identification to register (we would suggest taking your passport and visa).
If you already know where you’ll be living, you can click here to find your nearest GP surgery.
You can also:
- 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.
Can a GP surgery refuse to register you?
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 are having trouble registering with a GP surgery, you can:
- Call the NHS England Customer Contact Centre on 0300 311 22 33
- Contact your local Healthwatch
Changing your GP surgery
There might be many reasons why you need to change your GP surgery. For example:
- You have moved
- You 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 & it’s a medical emergency
- you’re not registered with a GP surgery
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 dentist
After you register with your GP, you may wish to register with a local dentist of your choice. Dental care in the UK is included within the NHS. However, some services may incur additional fees (such as teeth whitening). When choosing a dentist, you are not bound by location, so you can choose the dentist most convenient for you. Click here to find your nearest dental practice.