GP and GP Out of Hours
Local doctors are also known as general practitioners, GPs. They look after the health of people in their community and deal with patients’ different health problems.
GPs provide services including:
- medical advice
- physical examinations
- diagnosis of symptoms
- prescribing medication
- health education
- simple surgical operations
- care for ongoing, longstanding or chronic conditions
To find Health and Social Care (HSC) providers such as GPs, hospitals, dentists, pharmacists, opticians, and some key HSC Trust services including Emergency Departments (A&E) visit the Health and Social Care Service Finder.
Registering with a doctor's surgery
Usually, in a practice, several GPs work together in a surgery, clinic or health centre. To see a GP in a practice, you need to register as a Health Service patient with the surgery.
To register with a practice, ask the receptionist if you live in the area the practice covers and if they accept new patients.
If your application is successful
If the practice is willing to accept you as a patient, you need to bring your medical card and fill in a registration form (HS100), or for people from outside of UK or people who have been out of the UK for more than a year (HS22X) which the receptionist will give to you.
Your medical records will be transferred to your new practice.
If your application is refused
If you live over a certain distance away from a practice, or if it has closed its patient list, the practice may refuse your application. If this happens, you should contact the Business Services Organisation and ask them to put your name on a doctor’s list in your area.
If a practice won’t accept you as a patient, they should give you reasons for their decision. They must not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, social class, age, religion, sexual orientation, appearance, disability or medical condition.
GP out of hours service
The GP out of hours service is for people who need urgent medical treatment but cannot wait until their doctor’s practice opens. The service is for terminally ill people, very sick children and frail elderly people. Dental out of hours service only treats people with dental pain, swelling or bleeding.
When you mustn’t use the out of hours service
You don’t use the GP out of hours service for:
- repeat prescriptions
- dental problems
- minor ailments that a pharmacist can treat
Using the out of hours service
GP out of hours is available if you need urgent medical care when your GP surgery is closed.
GP out of hours services are:
- 6.00 pm on week days until your GP surgery opens the next morning
- 24 hours on Saturday and Sunday
- 24 hours on public holidays
You should telephone the out of hours service first. The doctor or nurse will assess you and:
- give you advice by telephone
- decide if you need to see a doctor
- refer you to another service
If your condition is life-threatening, for example, a suspected heart attack or stroke, telephone 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.
North Down & Ards Area
Down & Lisburn Area Tel: (028) 9182 2344
Tel: (028) 9260 2204
2 Struell Wells Road
Lagan Valley Hospital