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 the NHS Choices Service Search .
- Enter GP and your postcode. You will get a list of GP surgeries near you. Pick the one one nearest to you that is accepting patients.
- Call the surgery or check their website to make sure they are taking patients and ask to register.
If you are going to university or college, they may have surgeries where you need to register. Check on the university or college website.
Register with a GP
Moved to a new area? Registering for the first time? Here's what to expect:
- Contact the surgery to register. Tell the receptionist you need to register with a GP. They will ask you questions, for example: have you been registered with a Doctor before? and where do you live?
- You will need to fill in a form. You can often find this form and all the information about how to register on the Surgery's website.
- Hand in the form and show your receptionist your proof of identity and address. Examples of proof of identity are your passport, or driving licence. Examples of proof of address are a utility bill, or council tax bill in your name.
If you don't like the GP assigned to you, you are able to change to another one at the same practice or a different practice 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 receptionist. They can help.
Crucial: Lots of surgeries allow you to book appointments online, but you will need to register for 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 need to talk to other professionals. They will always try and discuss this with you first.
Seeing a doctor or nurse on your own
Anyone over 16 can ask for treatment or advice without a parent or carer being there. They 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.
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 NHS Choices or calling 111.