kaberett: Clyde the tortoise from Elementary, crawling across a map, with a red tape cross on his back. (elementary-emergency-clyde)
[personal profile] kaberett
I have been meaning to write this up for a while and have just had cause to do so elsenet; ergo, have a copy of Alex's Algorithm For Choosing A New GP. It has served me pretty well thus far.

Comments and additions welcome, as ever. :-)

  1. Go to http://www.nhs.uk/Service-Search/GP/LocationSearch/4 and enter your postcode.
  2. Look at the number of registered patients. I'm happiest at practices with more than ten thousand patients -- these tend to be practices that see a wide variety of conditions so are better at coping with complex patients. I am wary about anywhere with fewer than five thousand patients. (This is, obviously, heavily dependent on where you live -- I've never lived outside of cities, and am well aware that in rural areas you get less choice over this one.)
  3. Check whether the practice is accepting new patients. If you care particularly about electronic prescriptions and online services, check whether they're offered by the practice. (You can pretty much ignore the overall patient ratings.)
  4. Click through to the practice details. Are the opening times workable for you?
  5. Click on "Staff". Are there any GPs who've indicated a special interest in relevant areas? For example, my practice is http://www.nhs.uk/Services/GP/Staff/DefaultView.aspx?id=36949. Dr Iqbal has an interest in child health (he has a DCH); Dr Youssef has an interest in child health and obstretics & gynaecology (DCH, MRCOG); Dr Peja is interested in reproductive medicine and gynaecology (DFFP, DRCOG). http://www.nhs.uk/Services/GP/Staff/DefaultView.aspx?id=38665 is a local-to-me example that lists special interests much more straightforwardly, under "Special interests".
  6. Use this to make a shortlist. I try to go for practices with staff with special interests relevant to me (gynaecology, rheumatology, mental health). Having ranked practices by how relevant GPs' special interests are, if I need a further tie-breaker I then go for the one that's most convenient for me to get to. I will then do an intake appointment, see if I get on with the GP running the intake appointment, and if I don't either try someone else in the practice or (if there are major red flags, like "we as a practice don't like doing [X reasonable thing]") try registering at the next practice down the list.
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kaberett

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