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if necessary. However, if it is more convenient, you should also be able to book appointments in advance. To register with a GP, you must first contact the practice and ask to register with them. When choosing your practice, first check that it covers the area you’re living in. You can find a practice near you using the NHS Service Directory. Some GP practices will also ask to see proof of your identity, for example: photo identity, such as your passport or driving licence; proof of your address, such as a recent utility bill (gas, electricity, water or phone bill, but not a mobile phone bill) or council tax bill. Further information on how to register can be found on the NHS Direct website or at your local GP office.

NHS medical card The GP practice may ask you for your NHS medical card or your NHS number. However, you don’t need either of these to register with a GP or to get NHS treatment. When you register with a GP some centres will send you a new NHS medical card, but not all health centres issue medical cards and some will only do so on request.

Can I register with a specific GP? You will be registered with a GP practice rather than an individual GP. If you prefer to see a specific GP, the practice can note this in your records. However, you may have to: wait longer to see your preferred GP, or see someone else if your preferred GP is unavailable.

Health checks

When you register with a new GP practice, you’ll be invited to make an appointment for a health check within six months. Health checks are usually done by the practice nurse, who will ask you about your personal and family medical history. They will also ensure that any tests or checks you need are up to date, such as measuring your blood pressure or arranging cervical screening. What if the practice doesn’t accept me? Even if you can prove that you are living in the UK, a GP or dentist has the right to choose whether or not to accept you onto their list of NHS patients if you are not a British citizen. Some reasons for not being able to register with a GP practice are if:

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Moving to London; A Practical Companion for Irish People  
Moving to London; A Practical Companion for Irish People  

A helpful, practical and comprehensive guide to Moving to London for Irish people. Published by the London Irish Centre in May 2012.

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