Information for New Patients from outside the UK – Migrant Health

General practice services

Your local GP practice team is the main point of contact for general healthcare for NHS England. They’re there to support you to get the right kind of care when you need it.

GP practices are made up of multi-disciplinary teams which could include:

  • General Practitioners (GPs)
  • Advanced Nurse Practitioners
  • General Practice Nurses
  • Practice Manager
  • Receptionists
  • Trainee GP’s and Medical Students

When to contact your GP practice

Before you contact your GP practice:

Non-urgent advice:

If it’s an emergency call 999.

Your GP practice team is available (Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm) if you:

  • have an urgent care need
  • have an illness that does not improve with self-treatment
  • are worried about your health
  • have an ongoing health condition

GP practice teams will have confidential access to your past medical history.
They also provide the link to other health services and work closely with other health and social care workers.

Who you’ll see or speak to at a GP practice

When you contact the GP practice, the receptionist will ask you for some general information. They’ll then help you to connect with the best person for your problem.

The role of the receptionist

GP practice receptionists are trained to guide you to the best care.

For some injuries and illnesses, it may be necessary to speak to a GP. However, there are other clinical experts that work in a GP practice and it might be more appropriate for you to speak to them. This includes:

  • General Practice Nurses
  • Advanced Nurse Practitioners
  • Practice Nurse
  • Pharmacists
  • Community Mental Health Nurses
  • District Nurses
  • Health Visitors
  • Learning Disability Nurses
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Paramedics
  • Health Care Support Workers
  • Community Link Workers
  • Physician Assistants

A member of the practice team will give you advice and provide medicine if needed. If they feel that your condition needs further investigation or specialist care they may direct you to another healthcare professional like:

  • a Dentist **
  • an Optometrist **
  • another service ***

Making an appointment at a GP practice

In most cases, you need to book an appointment ahead of time to speak to a member of your GP practice team.
Appointments can be made online through some practice websites or by phoning the practice directly.

Prescriptions

Always make sure you have enough repeat prescription medication and basic remedies at home. Make sure you order well in advance ahead of public holidays.

Prescriptions and pharmacies – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Complaints and feedback

If you’re unhappy with the service you’ve received at your GP practice, ask to talk to the practice manager so they can try to sort the matter out immediately.

If you can’t do this, or if you have already spoken to your GP practice and are still unhappy, you can contact the feedback and complaints team at your local NHS health board.

How to complain to the NHS – NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Other services:

Any eye trauma.

Visiting an optician – NHS (www.nhs.uk) **

All teeth related issues.

How to find an NHS dentist – NHS (www.nhs.uk) **

All sexual health issues.

Overview – Sunderland Sexual Health Screening Service – NHS (www.nhs.uk) **

Family planning.

Overview – Contraceptive Services @ Sunderland Royal Hospital – NHS (www.nhs.uk) **

LOCAL AUTHORITY – for housing, benefits, educational needs and more; https://www.sunderland.gov.uk/ ***