GP stands for General Practitioner. It describes a doctor who sees people for non-emergency medical help. You make appointments to see your GP at Doctor's Surgeries or Health Centres near where you live.
Everyone should be registered with a GP. Parents register children with their GP. When you move house, you change your GP, so you are never far aware from medical help. Wherever you live in Oxfordshire, there will be a GP Surgery which treats people in your area.
Crucial: If you want to see your GP (Doctor) on your own (not with your parents) you are allowed to do this.
When children move away from home, they need to register with a GP where they live. You can register with a GP yourself when you are 16 (if you are younger, your parents or carers need to register you).
Find a GP (Doctor):
- Go to find a GP on the NHS website
- Enter your postcode
Crucial: If you are going to university or college, they may have surgeries where you need to register. Check on the university or college website.
Your practice will tell you how to register (this can often be done online). If you don't like the GP assigned to you, you are able to change to another without giving a reason.
Instant Expert: Worried about seeing your GP (Doctor) on your own? Not sure what you can or can't talk about? Healthtalk interviewed 34 young people about their experiences of visiting the GP, and they share their hints and tips in videos and advice pages on www.seeingthegp.co.uk along with information from GPs about the services they provide.
Seeing a doctor or nurse
You can book an appointment to see a doctor or nurse anytime. You can usually book an appointment with any doctor in the same practice. You don't have to wait until your GP is available. If you are not sure whether you need to see a Doctor or Nurse, talk to the receptionist.
Crucial: Lots of surgeries also allow you to book appointments online or offer other online services. Check your surgery's website for details.
Anything you tell your GP is confidential - this means they usually will not say that you've been to see them, or why. If you are at risk, or putting someone else at risk, then the GP or nurse might talk to other professionals. They will always try and discuss this with you first.
Seeing a doctor or nurse on your own
Younger patients can ask for treatment or advice without a parent or carer being there. The doctor will ask questions and encourage you to discuss your health with your parents, if this is in your best interest.
If you are under 16 your doctor can still see you on your own and have a confidential discussion. But they may need to speak to a parent or carer before giving treatments.
Find out more: about getting an appointment and what to expect at your appointment from RCPCH Children's Health.
What's it like?
Seeing a Doctor or nurse is a great way to get health support. In the video below, young people talk about their experiences of seeing their GP, on their own and with their parents.
When should I see my GP?
A lot of illnesses get better on their own. This is especially true if you are young, healthy and have no underlying health problems. But if you are:
- Ill for a long time
- Not showing any improvement
- Not sure what the problem is
You may need to see your GP. You can get more information by visiting the NHS website.