General Practitioners

Department of Health and Social Care written question – answered at on 19 June 2023.

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Photo of Damien Moore Damien Moore Conservative, Southport

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what discussions his Department has had with relevant groups on allowing individuals dissatisfied with the care they receive from a GP to move to another practice in the same local area and overriding any block on intra-area transfers.

Photo of Neil O'Brien Neil O'Brien The Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Health and Social Care

The Department has not had a specific discussion on this topic, however, patients have the legal right to choose a general practitioner (GP) practice that best suits their needs and can change their GP surgery should they be dissatisfied with their care. When moving practices, a patient has to formally register with the new practice by submitting a registration form to them, available at the practice or from GOV.UK. This is provided they are operating an open list and taking new patients.

If a practice does refuse registration, they must explain to the patient the reason for doing so. A GP practice cannot refuse registering a patient based on the race, gender, social class, age, religion, sexual orientation, appearance, disability, or medical conditions of the patient.

If this process has not been followed, patients should raise this with their practice who will provide details of the complaints process. If a patient is not comfortable raising a complaint directly or do not feel they have had a satisfactory response, they can raise their concern with their integrated care systems, with NHS England by emailing or with Healthwatch England.

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