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Can I change my doctor?

This information applies to England only

Anyone can change their GP without giving a reason. If you've moved out of the GP’s usual area, you need to change if the GP says that they won't be able to carry on treating you or offering you home visits.

If you decide to change GPs, you should contact the surgery you want to change to, and ask to register as a patient with them. If they agree to take you on, they will ask you to fill in a registration form or ask you for your medical card details. Some GP practices also want to see proof of your identity, like a passport, and proof of your address, like a utility bill.

The GP practice will then send your details to the health authority, who will write to you to confirm that you're registered with the new practice. Your medical records will be sent to the new practice.

Some Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) also issue NHS medical cards. If they do, they will send you a new card when they write to you. But not all CCGs issue cards, and you don't need a card to register with a GP or get NHS treatment.

If you want to change doctors because you've been removed from a doctor’s list, the procedure is similar to changing through choice. If you're having trouble finding a GP who will take you on, contact your CCG who can allocate a GP in your area. You can also contact your local HealthWatch for more information about local GPs.

You can find more information about your rights as an NHS patient in NHS patients' rights.

Other Frequently asked questions about health: