It’s so important no matter what walk of life you’re in to register with your local clinic. It may be especially daunting for an international student or anyone moving to the UK to register at a local NHS clinic. However, don’t worry it’s not a hard task at all. Nowadays you can register online to some local clinics however others you can just pop in fill up a form and get registered.

What do I need to know before I register?

You have the legal right to choose a GP practice that best suits your needs. The GP practice must accept you unless there are reasonable grounds to refuse you. These must not relate to race, gender, social class, age, religion, sexual orientation, appearance, disability, or medical condition. A practice can refuse to take you on for the following reasons:

  • it cannot take on new patients
  • it may not be accepting patients that do not live within its practice boundary
  • in your particular circumstances, it may not be appropriate for you to register with a practice that’s a long way from where you live.
  • remember the GP practice must give you reason in writing for refusal. 

How to register with a NHS GP.

When you find the practice you want, you must register with a GMS1registration form which you can find online or at the practice, you can download it from GOV.UK. When you have completed and returned the form, NHS England will transfer your medical records to your new practice and write to you to confirm your registration as a patient with that practice.

Important details after you’ve registered.

Your doctors name

Now that you have registered there are some important details which you should collect from the clinic. The first and the most important is the name of your GP, you’ll need the name of your GP when getting any prescriptions or scheduling an appointment. It’s quite easy to find the name of your GP once you’ve registered with a clinic. All you need to do is call them up and answer some verification questions.

Your first appointment

It’s also advised you should organise a check-up appointment once you’re at university. This is especially important if you’re new in the country or have a preexisting condition (diabetes,asthma etc).

Your NHS number

Your NHS number will help doctors access your health records when they don’t have it on file. This is especially helpful if you move locations as it’ll ease the process of registering with a new NHS clinic. An NHS number is a 10-digit number, like 485 777 3456. Your NHS number is unique to you. It helps healthcare staff and service providers identify you correctly and match your details to your health records. If you have an NHS number, it does not mean you’re automatically entitled to the free use of all NHS services.

Now that you’ve learnt how to register at a NHS clinic, you should also read our checklist on medicines you should take to university. You can find that here.


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