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Catchment areas new GP

It does thank you 'vanman'.

I moved and doctors say not within catchment area so i need to find a new GP.

I am only down the the road.

I thought the rules changed in January and the NHS now allow you to go to any GP/any area ?

I know they wouldn't accept me as a new patient if they were full - but they are accepting new patients.

Does anybody know the rules - I really dont want to have to go through the last 4 years with a new GP.



6 Replies

Hi Jules.

If you google - rules re GP catchment areas - you get the NHS site where it explains the new rules. You are right that it changed in 2015 so people could choose to be with a surgery for example near there work. However it is voluntary for the GP surgery to do so, so they don't have too. They can decide not to take you/keep you on if you are out of there area because it would inappropriate because of your medical history (but they should explain why). Also if you are out of their area they are not expected to do a home visit if you needed one.

Hope that helps


Thank you Strawberry, its clear now.

Maybe changing will put that history behind me - i just hope they are clued up if i need to go and see them. \i suppose they will not be.



Hopefully you will find your new GP's to be efficient and approachable. Sometime it is helpful to change from someone who has known you for a long time as a new Doc looks at things with new thoughts and can pick up on things that haven't been considered. However I do understand your worry about the pressure of having to bring a new GP up to speed!


I had to leave the practice of a GP I'd known & trusted for 12 years because I was moving house due to my divorce. I pleaded to stay as I wasn't moving far away, and my GP tried his best to keep me on, but ultimately it was a group decision that I'd be outside the catchment area.

So I found a practice nearer to my new address but, after six months, they moved. . . . . . . to the same building as my previous surgery ! I bumped into my original doctor and he suggested that the whole set-up was a complete joke !

Hope you find a good one Jules.

Cat xx


Think a similar situation has happened in my area Cat. Lots of GP practices moved into one big building called a Healthy Living Centre. Mind you I think the individual practices still have the 'area' that they previously covered as there area now even though 6 practices are all based in the same building! Give it a few more years and they will be all moved out into individual premises again as that's what tends to happen in the NHS!


The rules are that you can now choose any GP service that suits you but that they still have the right to refuse to register you if you live outside their catchment area.

Also if they do register you they do not have to come out if you are too ill to attend the surgery but they do have to make arrangements for you to be seen- so in an emergency you would still get treatment, just not necessarily from your own doctor.

If you are settled with your current GP I would speak to your doctor and explain how important your relationship with them is to you, especially considering your medical circumstances, how hard building that trust with a new doctor will be and ask if they can please keep you on their books ... unless there is a serious reason why you would be at risk from being just across their boundary. It can't hurt to ask or to have a quiet word with the practice manager.

If they insist on dumping you from their list you would have the right of appeal but to be honest this would be stressful and time consuming and unless retaining your current GP is vital to your well-being, probably not worth the hassle.

I hope you can find a suitable arrangement.


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