GP's look after the health of people in their local community and deal with a whole range of health problems. They also provide health education, offer advice on smoking and diet, run clinics, give vaccinations and carry out some simple surgical operations.
GP’s usually work in practices as part of a team, which includes nurses, healthcare assistants, practice managers, receptionists and other staff.
Practices also work closely with other healthcare professionals, such as health visitors and midwives. You would normally see GP’s or other healthcare professionals at their premises (surgery). Some operate from more than one building. If your GP cannot deal with a problem then you’ll usually be referred to a hospital for tests, treatment, or to see a consultant with specialist knowledge.
How to register with a GP practice
You can register with a GP practice of your choice, as long as you live within its catchment area and it is accepting new patients. There is an entry in this directory for each of the GP practices in the city. To find these search the directory under GP’s.
When you have found a practice you like, you’ll have to formally register with it as an NHS patient by submitting a registration form to them. The GMS1 form (PDF, 107 kb) is available in the practice or you can download it at the bottom of this page. Forms may vary slightly and some practices use their own version. Parents or guardians can register a baby at a practice by completing and presenting form FP58 (PDF 34Kb), which is issued at the same time as a birth certificate.
A practice cannot refuse you unless it has reasonable grounds for doing so. These must not relate to race, gender, social class, age, religion, sexual orientation, appearance, disability, or a medical condition. It must also give you reasons for its decision in writing. However, you may be refused if you are living outside the practice’s catchment area or the practice is generally not accepting new patients at the time because its list is closed. If you are having problems registering with a nearby doctor then please contact Healthwatch Liverpool on 0300 77 77 007.
You can register with a GP practice as a temporary resident under certain circumstances – when you are in an area for more than 24 hours but less than three months.
Booking an appointment
Practices will have their own appointment arrangements. However, your practice should be able to offer you an appointment to see a GP or other healthcare professional quickly if necessary. You can normally see any doctor within your practice. This is quite normal, especially if you need an appointment quickly. However, if it is more convenient, you should also be able to book appointments in advance. It is important to keep your appointment, or notify the practice if you have to cancel or change it.
Out of hours provision
Your local pharmacist is a great source of advice and treatment for minor injuries and illnesses.
If you need to be seen urgently outside of your practice's opening hours, and cannot wait until the next working day, you can contact your practice and your call will be automatically put through to the out of hours GP service, UC24. Alternatively you can contact UC24 directly on 0151 220 3685
You can also visit an NHS walk-in centre. These can provide treatment for minor injuries or illnesses such as cuts, bruises and rashes. However, they are not designed for treating long-term conditions or immediately life-threatening problems. You don't need to be registered and you don't need an appointment. Any member of the public can simply walk in to be seen regardless of where they are registered.
Where to go