Patients Urged To Have Their Say
Department of Health’s consultation on registering with GP practice of choice
NHS Hounslow would like local people to be aware of the Department of Health’s consultation on registering with a GP practice of their choice.
At the moment, people have to choose a GP practice that is close to them and make sure they live within its catchment area. Catchment areas were put in place when the NHS was created in 1948. One of the reasons for having them was to help GPs manage their workload, especially home visits.
Anyone living in the UK can approach a GP practice and apply to join it as an NHS patient. Practices can decide whether to accept each new patient. The most common reason for practices to refuse is that the person doesn’t live within the catchment area.
The Government is looking at options to change this, so people can choose a GP practice that best suits their needs. Most people want a GP practice that’s near where they live. But some find it difficult to see their GP – for example, people who work full-time and can’t get to a practice near their home during the day. Other people would like to be able to choose a practice because it has longer opening hours or has different services available.
NHS Hounslow and London Borough of Hounslow’s Joint Director of Public Health Dr Mike Robinson said: “I encourage local people to read the consultation documents to find out more about the proposals and use this opportunity to have their say about registering with a GP practice of their choice.”
The Department of Health has more information about the consultation on their website at http://www.gpchoice.dh.gov.uk/ You can respond to the consultation online, or you can write to Your Choice of GP Practice, Room 2E42, Quarry House, Quarry Hill, Leeds, LS2 7UE.
The consultation started on 4 March and runs until 28 May.
March 16, 2010