General Practitioners (GPs)
NHS England and NHS Bexley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) co-commissions 27 GP practices in Bexley to provide free primary care health services for local residents.
When it’s not an emergency, your GP is the best port of call for most health enquiries.
What services does a GP offer?
A GP or general practitioner is a doctor who looks after the health of local people and deals with a wide range of health issues such as:
- general health advice
- contraception and maternity services
If your local GP cannot help with your health issue, they may refer you to another health specialist or to a hospital for tests or further treatment.
Why should I register with a GP?
GPs and practice staff can help you with health advice or will see you quickly if you become unwell. A GP can also refer you to specialist and community health services if you need them.
How do I register with a GP?
To register with a GP:
- enter your full postcode in the find a local service search box on our homepage. This will give you a list of GPs nearest to where you live.
- to register as a patient, you can call the practice or visit in person and ask to be registered. You will need to take proof of your address with you and if the GP practice agrees to accept you as a patient, you will be asked for your details and the details of your last GP.
You will probably be asked to visit the surgery for an introductory consultation with a nurse or GP.
Need extra support?
If you are deaf, and need help with registering at a GP, contact:
Inspire on 01322 344 811 who can offer communications support and BSL intepreters to patients.
When can I see my GP?
You can see details about your GP such as opening times, contact details and languages spoken via our list of Bexley GPs - please return to the 'find a local service' on the hompage.
Do I have to pay to see a GP?
Most GP services are free. You may have to pay for non-essential things such as travel vaccinations, or reports for insurance companies. You have to pay for prescriptions unless you are:
- aged under 16
- aged under 19 and in full-time education
- aged 60 or over
- in receipt of income support
- in receipt of pension credit guarantee credit
- income-based jobseeker's allowance
- if you are named on Tax Credit NHS Exemption Certificate
You may not have to pay for prescriptions at all if you have a condition on the prescription charge exemption list. Ask your GP practice for details.
If you regularly pay for more than five prescriptions in a four month period, you could save money using the pre-payment scheme. The scheme allows you to buy a pre-payment certificate that you can use to pay for prescriptions. For more information call 0845 850 0030.
I am on a low income, do I have to pay?
If you are on a low income you may be able to get full or partial help towards NHS charges for such things as prescriptions, dental treatment, eye tests and glasses or travel for treatment. The amount you get will depend on your income. You may not be entitled to any help if you have too much in savings. To claim, fill in form HC1, which you can get from local benefit offices, NHS hospitals, dentists, opticians and pharmacists.
If a GP refuses to register me what should I do?
A doctor may refuse to register you, if that is the case request the reason in writing. A doctor cannot refuse to take you on because of your age, sex, sexual orientation, religion, financial status or medical condition.
How do I change my GP?
You have the right to change your GP without giving a reason. You then have to find a new one in the way described on this page in the section ‘How do I register with a GP?’
What is the difference between permanent and temporary registration?
If you are likely to live in Bexley at one address for more than three months, register as a permanent patient. Permanent registration means that you can be registered with a medical card and have your records transferred to your new GP. Or you can register as a temporary patient for up to three months. This is useful if you are staying away from home for a short period of time and need medical care.
What happens if I am removed from a GP's list?
GPs can remove patients from their list. If this happens you can ask them for the reason in writing.
Is there a GP that speaks a language other than English?
A few GPs speak languages other than English. To find out information such as the languages spoken by your GP or how to arrange an interpreter, speak to your practice for more information or return to the 'find a local service' on the homepage.
Making a suggestion or complaint about your GP services
If you have a complaint, or you want to make your views known about the care you have received from your GP or practice staff, speak to the practice manager first. In many cases the problem can be sorted out straight away.