If you’re planning on moving home soon then you may be asking yourself ‘do I need to change my GP if I move house?
With so many addresses to change and services to re-register with when moving home, the process can become long and tiresome. But changing GP when you move house is an absolute must-do. If you don’t, you could find yourself sick but with nowhere to go.
Unfortunately, the issue of people forgetting to, or not being bothered to, change doctors when they move house is more common than you might think. In fact, according to NHS Digital estimates, the number of patients registered with GP practices in England is far less than the total population of the country.
In this guide, we will talk you through everything you need to know about changing doctors and registering with a new GP when relocating.
If you are moving house, but are remaining in the catchment area of your current GP, then you do not necessarily need to change doctors if you don’t want to. Your existing GP might still be willing to continue treating and visiting you at your new address.
A GP can continue to treat you if you move out of their catchment area, but they will have to assure the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) that they are willing to do so.
There are a number of reasons you might not want to change doctors if you move house:
However, you should bear in mind that a GP surgery can refuse your registration if, for example, they are not taking new patients or it is too far away from your new home and you will require home visits.
You can easily update your GP through SlothMove! We do all the hard work for you by auto-populating local GP’s based on your postcode. All you have to do is select which doctors you want to change to.
At the same time, you can even change your address with the NHS to make sure all your medical needs are covered.
If you’re moving house and want to change GP, simply fill out the form below:
So, you’re moving house and want to know how to change doctors? No problem, we’ll take you through exactly how to register with a GP.
If you already know which doctor’s surgery you wish to register with, and they are able to take you on as a new patient, the process for changing GP is super simple. All you have to do is register with the new GP and arrange for your medical records to be transferred over from your current doctors. If you’re lucky, your new GP may arrange the transfer for you.
First, you should take a look at which GP surgeries in the area you want to register with. Check out what each doctor’s surgery has to offer and how they compare to each other as well as your old GP. Bear in mind that some GP surgeries offer services that others do not. So, choose wisely!
If you’re changing GP then you can easily search for a doctor’s surgery in the area of your new home using the NHS’ GP search service.
Once you’ve chosen your new GP surgery, all you have to do is ask for a registration form. To register with this GP, simply fill out the form, hand it back to the doctors and wait for them to transfer all your medical records for you.
Many people are reluctant to change doctors when they move house because they think it will take a lot of time and effort. However, it is surprising how long it actually takes to change GP.
Changing GP will take approximately seven working days to complete, providing all your registration forms and identification documents have been submitted correctly.
However, requests to register with a new GP are treated as high priority and in most cases the records will be transferred within two days. If your medical records are electronic, and they can be accepted onto your new doctor’s practice computer system, then two days should be plenty of time for your old GP to agree to releasing them.
The list of things you need to do when you move house can be daunting, and you may want to keep this list as short as possible. Therefore, many people choose not to change doctors when they move home, instead staying with their old GP.
If you choose to do this, then it is important to check how far you can live from your doctor’s surgery. The best thing to do is just ask your current GP if they are willing to accept you despite living outside the catchment area.
The surgery will then decide if they can accept you as a regular patient or accept you without home visits. If the distance to your new home is quite significant, the GP surgery might not be able to offer you home visits. This probably won’t be a problem for you, but if you are not well enough to go to the doctor’s surgery, other arrangements might need to be made.
You should bear in mind, however, that registering with a GP further away from your home can affect decisions about referrals for hospital tests and treatment, or access to community health services.
If you are not registered with a GP, you will be unable to see a doctor unless you have a serious emergency. In the case of an emergency, you will need to complete a temporary registration form to be treated at a GP.
Overall, it is a bad idea not to register with a GP, regardless of whether you have moved house or not.
If you are moving home, you may think it’s a good idea to remain registered at your current GP as well as registering at a new one near where you are going to live. Unfortunately, however, you cannot register with more than one GP.
Instead, you will need to change doctors and register with another GP practice in your area. It is also important to note that you can only register with a GP if you are staying in the area for more than 3 months.
If you are changing doctors and have already decided which GP you wish to register with, the process for doing so is usually quick and easy. Making the process of changing GP even less stressful is the fact that it does not cost anything.
You will be pleased to hear that it is free to change doctors and enrol with a new GP.
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