Getting the most from your GP practice

It’s Your Practice: A patient guide to GP services  is available free of charge and gives patients a diverse range of useful information – from choosing and registering with a surgery and understanding the different services that are available, through to making appointments and getting the most from your consultation.

As well as being available from the RCGP website, it has been taken up by NHS Choices, the online information service that helps to put patients in control of their healthcare.

Other sections provide clear guidance on how patients can access their health records; patient rights and responsibilities and how to can get involved in the running of your practice.

The differences in GP services across the four nations are highlighted, along with links to other organisations including the Citizens Advice Bureau and the Princess Royal Trust for Carers who can also provide support for patients.

Professor Sir Bruce Keogh, NHS Medical Director, said: “Primary care is the backbone of our NHS, but no two GP practices are the same.  This guide will help people understand how primary care works so they can engage with and get the most from a practice of their choice.”

Antony Chuter, Chair of the Patient Partnership Group at the RCGP, said “I’m delighted the College has produced this resource for patients. It’s an essential step-by-step guide to GP services in the UK.”

Dr Clare Gerada, RCGP Chair,  said: “This guide sums up our philosophy of GPs working in partnership with patients to improve health. Patients tell us they want to know how to get more involved.  They want to know how to prepare for consultations; who does what and who they should be asking to see. I hope it will prove to be a very useful resource for patients across the UK.”

Deborah El-Sayed, Director of NHS Choices, said “ This guide is a really useful resource. Providing people with clear and accessible information that allows them to make the most of their GP services is so important. As the guide been produced by patients and GP’s working together, the advice is relevant, easy to understand and gives great examples of good practice.”

It’s Your Practice: A patient guide to GP services  is available on NHS Choices and the RCGP website.  Plans are to make the resource as widely available as possible.  To link to the document from your website please email [email protected].



RCGP Press office – 020 3188 7576/7575/7574
Out of hours: – 0203 188 7659

[email protected]



The publication is part of a bigger push by the RCGP to encourage patients to understand how they can get the most out of primary care – which also includes how they can become more involved in monitoring their own health.


The Royal College of General Practitioners is a network of over 42,000 family doctors working to improve care for patients. We work to encourage and maintain the highest standards of general medical practice and act as the voice of GPs on education, training, research and clinical standards.