local GP surgeries not taking any new patients

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So I need to see a doctor. I tried my 2 local general practice surgeries  but was told they are not taking any new patients for quite some time.  Is this a common problem? How best to proceed ?




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Phone your health insurer to ask. From what I’ve seen at our 2 local surgeries and heard from a friend who works at one, if people phone to enquire, they are told that no more patients are being accepted. But, those who just turn up at a surgery for the first time are generally just handed a registration form and can see a doctor during the Sprechstunde.


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The issue is if a practice takes on too many 'new' patients, this can result in longer waiting times to get an appointment for all of their patients, particularly in winter, cold and flu season and this would be considered a poorer service. 

The problem may be more acute in larger towns and cities rather than in smaller towns, villages etc. 


Patient numbers do eventually go down through patients dying or moving away, before going back up again with new arrivals. If you are persistent because you really want to go to that practice (local, good reputation, good facilities, easy to get to etc.), you may be accepted. 


Occasionally a doctor dies unexpectedly or simply retires and there is not always a doctor waiting to take over, which means a stack of active patients being diverted onto other nearby doctors. 


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