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 healthcare professionals, and may offer a wider range of health services than you think. For more information about pharmacies and the services they provide click here.

How to make a booking
Your surgery should be able to offer you an appointment to see a GP or another healthcare professional quickly, if necessary.

If it's not urgent, you should also be able to book appointments in advance.

Evening and weekend appointments
You can now see a GP or another healthcare professional on:

  • weekday evenings between 6.30pm and 8pm

  • Saturdays and Sundays

To book an appointment, call your GP surgery or visit their website. You may be able to get an appointment on the same day, if required.

You may be offered an appointment at:

  • your GP surgery

  • another local GP surgery

  • another local NHS service, such as a General Practice Hub

When your GP surgery is closed
If you phone your GP surgery outside normal surgery hours, a recorded message will tell you who to contact.

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.

Booking appointments online
Many GPs now offer GP online services, which allow you to book or cancel your appointment, or order a repeat prescription.

Some surgeries are also introducing new ways to consult a GP or another healthcare professional, including online or over the phone. Check with the receptionist or practice manager for more details.

You have the legal right to ask to see a particular doctor or nurse at the GP surgery.

Conditions for which over the counter items should not routinely be prescribed in primary care: A consultation on guidance for CCGs
Your GP, nurse or pharmacist will not generally give you a prescription for over the counter medicines for a range of minor health concerns. Instead, over the counter medicines are available to buy in a pharmacy or supermarket in your local community. The team of health professionals at your local pharmacy can offer help and clinical advice to manage minor health concerns and if your symptoms suggest it’s more serious, they’ll ensure you get the care you need. Please help the NHS to use resources sensibly.

  1. Acute Sore Throat

  2. Cold Sores

  3. Conjunctivitis

  4. Coughs and colds and nasal congestion

  5. Cradle Cap (Seborrhoeic dermatitis – infants)

  6. Haemorrhoids

  7. Infant Colic

  8. Mild Cystitis

  9. Contact Dermatitis

  10. Dandruff

  11. Diarrhoea (Adults)

  12. Dry Eyes/Sore tired Eyes

  13. Earwax

  14. Excessive sweating (Hyperhidrosis)

  15. Head lice

  16. Indigestion and Heartburn

  17. Infrequent constipation

  18. Infrequent Migraine

  19. Insect bites and stings

  20. Mild Acne

  21. Mild Dry Skin/Sunburn

  22. Mild to Moderate Hay fever/Allergic Rhinitis

  23. Minor burns and scalds

  24. Minor conditions associated with pain, discomfort and/fever. (e.g. aches and sprains, headache, period pain, back pain)

  25. Mouth ulcers

  26. Nappy Rash

  27. Oral Thrush

  28. Prevention of dental caries

  29. Ringworm/Athletes foot

  30. Teething/Mild toothache

  31. Threadworms

  32. Travel Sickness

  33. Warts and Verrucae

GPs, nurses or pharmacists will also generally no longer prescribe probiotics and some vitamins and minerals. You can get these from eating a healthy, varied and balanced diet, or buy them at your pharmacy or supermarket. Why does the NHS need to reduce prescriptions for over the counter medicines? The NHS has been spending around £136 million a year on prescriptions for medicines that can be bought from a pharmacy or supermarket, such as paracetamol. By reducing the amount the NHS spends on over the counter medicines, we can give priority to treatments for people with more serious conditions, such as cancer, diabetes and mental health problems. Find out more in this leaflet.

Last modified: 14/03/2019