Get the best from your GP/doctor

GP reception

As Which? advises [Sept. 2017], don’t think of your GP surgery receptionist as ‘guard dog’. Think of them as assisting you find the person most skilled to help you. Tell the receptionist what you want, so they can ensure there are fewer wasted appointments.

It’s useful to ask to see the same GP/doctor again if you are dealing with unresolved problems, or if you have ongoing illnesses.

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As most GP appointments are short, work out your main needs before your visit and write them down. Tell the GP what they are at the start.

Treat the appointment as a shared talk, and let the GP know what’s important to you.


If you did not try what the GP advised you last time, or have not taken your medicines as prescribed, or have not changed your diet as recommended, be honest!

Ask the GP to tell you what to do if things get worse, or if you get extra symptoms. Also ask about the possible side effects of any medicines the GP prescribes for you.

[source: Which? Sept. 2017]

Antibiotics:  Ask have you been prescribed too many?  Research reported in the British Medical Journal found that a substantial proportion of antibiotic prescriptions have durations exceeding those recommended in guidelines. The National Institute for Health and Care excellence (NICE) has produced guidance on which antibiotics to use and for how long for different conditions.

page updated 5 Sept. 2019.  © 2019 by social enterprise™ Ltd.

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