Named GP and continuity of care

Our commitment

We ensure that each of our registered patients (including new patients and those patients under the age of 16) are assigned an accountable GP.

As NHS England state for practices under the GP contract
“The accountable GP must take lead responsibility for ensuring that any services which the Contractor is required to provide under the Contract are, to the extent that their provision is considered necessary to meet the needs of the patient, coordinated and delivered to the patient” NHS England » GP Contract

An oversight role which does not restrict which doctor or nurse you can see

As the British Medical Association explain
“The named GP is largely a role of oversight. It reassures patients they have one GP who is responsible for their care.

  • Patients do not need to see their named GP when they book an appointment with the practice.
  • Patients are entitled to choose to see any GP or nurse in the practice.
  • The named GP works with relevant health and social care professionals to deliver a multi-disciplinary care package that meets the needs of the patient.
  • The named GP ensures that these patients have access to a health check.
  • The named GP will not take on 24-hour responsibility for the patient, or have to change their working hours.”
    Requirement for all patients to have a named GP

Continuity of care from a doctor or nurse is good

However, though patients can see any doctor or nurse we encourage you to try and adopt continuity and see the same doctor or nurse (certainly for a specific problem) where this is possible.

Why is continuity good for patients?
From a patient perspective particularly for follow up of a specific problem, continuity is good for patients as

  • You do not need to repeat your story to a new doctor (even though some information is recorded in the notes a new doctors will often want to recheck the more limited written format, remembering that a clinician has 10 minutes to see a patient and record everything in the notes)
  • Your doctor has more time as they are not asking you to repeat your story, and this extra time can be used to your advantage.
  • Results come back to the doctor who ordered them, so if you see a new doctor they will need to understand why and what tests were ordered and review the tests afresh.
  • Developing a better patient-doctor relationship to support an improved consultation is easier if you are seeing the same doctor.

Sometimes seeing the same doctor/ nurse (clinician) is not always possible such as

  • You need an urgent review and are seen by the available duty doctor.
  • Your clinician is on annual leave.
  • The demand for a particular clinician’s appointments is higher than other doctors. This can be for a number of reasons which might include the length of time the clinician has been at the surgery or they offer a specialist skill.

Please remember that a clinician who has been in the surgery a long time is not necessarily any better than any of other doctors and in fact their core GP training period including hospital experience will be further in the past compared with more newly qualified doctors.

Continuity is good with any doctor/nurse (or other clinician) you see.

Health checks can support good health

Health checks such as the NHS Health Check can help guide you on your health.

If a patient requests a particular accountable GP, reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate their preference.

However, remember

  • This does not change which doctor you can see.
  • Continuity is good whoever your named GP is and if you never see your named accountable GP.
  • The named GP on the practice clinical system on occasions is used to divide up tasks such as unallocated reports, prescriptions, letters and investigations. This work is not related to practice doctors’ consultations with patients but is an important extra workload. This workload has to be kept in proportion to the doctor’s commitment to the practice, so if one doctor is in greater demand (for reasons explained above), they cannot be allocated a much higher proportion of extra patients compared with their colleagues.

If you feel the need to change who is your named GP, then please complete the relevant form found under “About the practice” and we will consider the request.

Information intended for practices

From NHS England
GP Contract NHS England » GP Contract

Patient registrations information intended for practices

From Primary Care Support England
Though much of the information is only intended for GP practices we have included it as it covers some more complex scenario so maybe on occasions be use to patients.
Patient Registrations Patient Registrations – Primary Care Support England


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