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Can I choose which GP I see?

04/12/2018

We hear a lot of feedback from people in Haringey who are unhappy because they do not always get to see the same GP when they make an appointment.

Healthwatch Haringey have put together the following information about when you can ask to see a specific GP and what to expect when you do:

  • When you book a GP appointment, ideally you will be able to choose which GP you see – but this may not always be possible and the practice do not have to do this. If you definitely want to see a specific GP, you may have to wait longer for an appointment to become available.
  • If your GP practice has both male and female GPs, you can ask to see a male or female GP when you make your appointment and the practice will do their best to meet your wishes. However, they do not have to do this and it may mean waiting longer until a GP of your preferred gender has an appointment available.
  • Since April 2015, all GP practices are required to have a ‘named accountable GP’ for each of their patients. This GP’s job is to oversee any care or treatment you may get from other places (e.g. a hospital, or carers coming in to your home). However, there is no requirement for this person to be the only GP who you see when you book an appointment. You can ask to see your named GP, but it may mean waiting longer. 

It is up to you as a patient to decide whether you would prefer to wait longer to see a specific GP or see the next available GP.

Healthwatch Haringey work with the NHS and GP practices locally to try and make sure that everyone has access to a GP appointment when they need one, but GP practices are not always able to hire more GPs and have to work with the staff they have.

If you do not mind who you see – and struggle to get to GP appointments during the day – you can also ask your GP receptionist for an evening or weekend appointment, which will be offered by a different GP or nurse outside of your normal practice.

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