If you need non emergency advice on medical issues, then you can use the NHS 111 service. You can use this service if you cannot wait for a GP appointment and they can advise you further. This service is available for 24 hours, seven days a week.
A GP surgery must accept you unless there are reasonable grounds to refuse you. Any reason to not accept you must not be due to age, gender, social class, appearance, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity or medical condition
They must also write to you stating the reasons why they have refused you as a patient. A GP may refuse you on the grounds of –
it has no capacity to take on new patients
it may not be accepting patients that do not live within its practice boundary
in your particular circumstances, it may not be appropriate for you to register with a practice that is a long way from where you live
If you feel you have been unfairly treated or having a problems registering with a GP, then you need to contact the NHS England’s Customer Contact Centre.
You can make an appointment with a GP by either telephone or if you visit your GP’s website you may be able to book online which can often be quicker.
You might be asked to give some details about the reason you want to visit the GP. This is to help the healthcare staff and your GP better prepare for your appointment or be able to signpost you to more suitable health practitioner.
Once you have booked your GP appointment, make sure you give yourself enough time to get there. If you miss your appointment slot, you might be asked to book another appointment.
You can find your nearest GP by using the NHS service tool, which is at the bottom of this page.
The Learning Disability Register is a record of people with a learning disability who are registered with each GP practice.
GP’s and other health services have to make sure that you are able to access their service by making ‘reasonable adjustments’. This may include things such as –
providing you with any information in easy read format
longer appointments to give you time to understand the information
making sure any signs are clear
help with filling out forms
awareness training for staff so they can better support you.
These ‘reasonable adjustments’ are required by law under the equality act 2010 as everybody has the right to healthcare in UK.
Contact your GP’ to find out whether you are on the GP learning disability register.
Annual health checks are for adults and young people aged 14 or over with a learning disability.
During the health check, the GP or practice nurse will –
carry out a physical check up such as measuring your height and weight, blood pressure
talk to you about your lifestyle such as diet and exercise and try to help you find solutions to help you live a healthier life.
discuss any other health issues you may have such as epilepsy
talk to you about and review any medication or treatments you are having
If your learning disability has a specific cause, the GP or practice nurse will often carry out additional tests to check if there are any other health risks.
Adults and young people aged 14 or over with a learning disability that are on the GP practice learning disability register should be invited by their GP practice to come for an annual health check. However you can talk to your GP about having your annual health check-up.
Below is a short film that demonstrates the importance of an annual health check and signing up to GP learning disability register. The film has been created by Miss Fits Theatre, who are a Learning disability user led organisation.