"Having to change doctor when moving house"

About: NHS Ayrshire & Arran

(as the patient),

I am moving home approx 5 miles from where I currently live. I have been with my current practice all my life, my husband and kids are with the same doctors too. I am being told that I will have to move practices and move to a new doctor as my current doctor won't cover me. We lived in another Village 5 miles away when the children were born and it wasn't a problem then. We all work in town 5 minutes from the practice which is open mornings and late some evenings and out of hours is covered by a centralised emergency Doctor on Call service.

We have not had a doctor called out to any of us and have even offered that they put on our records that they do not do home visits we must visit the surgery but there is no compromise with them. I have even explained I can be at their surgery from my house quicker than some patients within their "catchment" area.

My daughter is now talking about not registering with a doctor as she is very uncomfortable about talking about things with people she doesn't know and as she has been brought up with the doctors and nurses in our practice she knows them and is quite comfortable with them.

I am very disappointed after all the years we have been with the surgery we are being forced to find another doctor against our will and to the detriment of the care we can be provided.

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Response from Eunice Goodwin, Patient Feedback Manager for NHS Ayrshire and Arran, Quality Improvement and Governance Team, NHS Ayrshire and Arran

picture of Eunice Goodwin

Dear JackieK139,

I am sorry to take so long to respond to you, I thought I better get my facts straight before responding, hence the delay.

How disappointing and irritated you must be feeling. You clearly feel very strongly about this and possibly you feel it is unfair and I am sorry about that.

When people move out of a GP catchment area it is the GP Practices’ contractual right to decide if they can provide adequate cover for your care e.g. if house visits are required (Unfortunately, these can never be anticipated). Like everything, it comes down to having to draw a line somewhere.

Can I suggest that you contact - Practitioner Services in Glasgow on - 0141 300 1365 - to find out what GP practices cover your new residential area?

If you really wish to pursue remaining with your practice, you could try contacting the practice manager and go through your GP complaints procedure. This may work but unfortunately, I think it is unlikely.

Regarding your daughter, I can appreciate she may feel unwilling to speak to a stranger but for many reasons I strongly advise against anyone failing to register with a GP.

It is only natural, we like to stick with what and who we know, and it does take time to build confidence in a new GP relationship. Can you talk to someone locally who attends the new practice you choose? You could also speak to the practice manager. They may be able to arrange for your daughter to have an informal chat with one of the GPs.

I am sorry it is not in my power to give you what you want but I am sure it will all work out well although it may not seem like it just now.

Please re-post later and let us know how you get on.

Best wishes,


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