General Practice Access Routes

There are three ways to get in touch with your GP practice

It’s no secret that our surgeries have been busier than ever. And now it’s winter, you may require our services more often. That’s why we’re letting you know that there are now more ways to contact your GP practice team, whether it’s for you or someone you care for.

There are three ways you can get in touch. You can:

  • Use an online form on your surgery’s website. It’s convenient and secure and can save time. 
  • Call during surgery hours
  • Visit your surgery in person

Pick the option that suits you best. No matter how you choose to get in touch, whether it’s using an online form, calling or visiting, you’ll get the help that’s right for you.

Your surgery may:

  • Book a face-to-face appointment for you
  • Arrange a phone or video consultation 
  • Send you a text message, for example, inviting you for a blood test
  • Arrange a home visit, or
  • Refer you to another service.

However your surgery responds, you can rest assured that they’re always looking after your needs.

If you are a parent or carer, you can use your surgery’s online form for your children or those you care for. Young people who have turned 16 years old and want to get in touch directly, can also phone or visit their surgery in person.

When requesting care, whether online, by phone or in person, it helps if you explain what’s wrong. This ensures you get the care you need at the right time from the right person – for example, from the doctor or nurse who normally treats you. It also helps the surgery’s medical team to prioritise those who need care most. 

If you prefer not to say what’s wrong – for example, when talking to the reception team – they will always respect your privacy. However, it’s an important part of their job to ask, so thank you for your support with this.
Please also tell your surgery if:

  • You would prefer to talk by phone, face-to-face or by video call
  • You need to speak to a particular person because they have treated you before 
  • There are certain times of day when you can’t talk, for example you are at work, at school or college 
  • You need English to be interpreted, you need help from another person at your appointment, or if you have other communications needs.

Your surgery will do their best to meet your needs in the way you would like, but please bear in mind that if you are unwell, their priority will be to ensure you receive care quickly.

Your local community pharmacist and their team can help and support with minor illnesses. As dedicated, qualified health professionals, and experts in medicines, they can offer clinical advice, consultations and over the counter medicines to help safely manage a wide range of minor health concerns. Many pharmacies also offer a range of new NHS clinical services including blood pressure testing.

If you have an urgent medical problem and you’re not sure what to do, NHS 111 can help. Call or go online, 111.nhs.uk.

For life-threatening emergencies, dial 999.

When visiting your surgery, please remember you still need to wear a face covering and maintain social distancing to protect vulnerable patients from Coronavirus infection.

If you would like any further information, please visit your surgery’s website or speak to the team next time you’re in touch.