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.

GP services

GPs provide services including:

  • medical advice
  • physical examinations
  • diagnosis of symptoms
  • prescribing  medication
  • health education
  • vaccinations
  • 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.

    Can’t get a doctor? (Business Services Organisation website) (external link opens in a new window / tab)

    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

    Ards Hospital
    Church Street
    Newtownards
    BT23 4AS
    Tel: (028) 9260 2204

    Downe Hospital
    2 Struell Wells Road
    Downpatrick
    BT30 6RL

    Whitehouse
    Lagan Valley Hospital
    Hillsborough Road
    Lisburn
    BT28 1JP
Woman meeting with man in doctors office

Contact Details

GP Out of Hours

North Down & Ards Areas

Ards Hospital
Church Street
Newtownards
BT23 4AS

Call us(028) 9182 2344

Down & Lisburn Areas

Downe Hospital
2 Struell Wells Road
Downpatrick
BT30 6RL

Whitehouse
Lagan Valley Hospital
Hillsborough Road
Lisburn
BT28 1JP

Call us(028) 9260 2204