Your Doctor

Treatment from a GP

You are entitled to treatment from a GP at the surgery where you are registered. You have no automatic right, however, to see your own GP.
A GP must provide any treatment which is immediately necessary in an emergency, even if you are not registered with them.

Second opinions

You can ask your GP to arrange a second opinion either from a specialist or another GP. However, the GP does not have to do this if they do not think it necessary. You have no right to a second opinion.

You do have the right to see a GP competent to deal with your particular case. If a GP refers you for a second opinion, you cannot insist on seeing a particular practitioner. However, you should not be referred to someone you do not wish to see.

If the GP refuses to arrange a second opinion, you may wish to change your GP

Changing a GP

You can change your GP at any time you wish without having to give a reason. If you tell your local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) that you want to change your GP, they must give you details of how to do so and provide you with a list of alternative GPs. ), the list of those in Norfolk are here: Norfolk CCGs.

More information

More information about your rights with regard to GP services can be found here NHS GPs. 

And the General Medical Council publication What to expect from your Doctor - a Guide for Patients.

Hospital Referral

  1. For non urgent cases, there should be no more than 18 weeks from the time you are referred from a GP to beginning your treatment at a hospital. For urgent referral where cancer is suspected the time is no more than 2 weeks. This also applies to all patients referred for investigation of breast symptoms, even if cancer is not initially suspected. If these targets cannot be met, the NHS has to take all reasonable steps to offer you a range of alternatives.

  2. Cancer patients should wait no more than 31 days from the decision to treat to the start of their first treatment. It is also expected that any subsequent surgical, drug or radiotherapy treatments will be delivered within 31 days. All patients should wait a maximum of 62 days from their urgent GP referral to the start of their treatment. This 62-day standard also includes all patients referred from NHS cancer screening programmes (breast, cervical and bowel) and all patients whose consultants suspect they may have cancer.

  3. Waiting lists do not operate on a last come, last served basis. Where you are on a waiting list depends on a range of circumstances and may change. If your condition deteriorates dramatically, your GP may recommend you be seen as a matter of greater urgency. How long you will have to wait for a date to see a specialist or have an operation, will therefore depend on the severity of your condition, how busy the specialist is and other demands on the hospital facilities.

  4. For more information see  NHS Choices - Rights and Pledges. You may have a choice from a number of hospitals – see 'Your rights to choice of hospital'.

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