How do I book a doctor appointment for myself or someone else?

Sometimes you may need to book an appointment with a doctor for yourself or the person you look after.

You can book an appointment for them even if you’re under 18.

Contact your local doctor

First you should get the phone number for your local GP surgery. If you know the name, you can find the number by doing a Google search. 

If you don’t know the name, you may need to ask an adult who does.  

If you or the person you look after don’t have a doctor, you will need to register with a local practice.  

Plan ahead

Each surgery has a different way of working. Call to find out how you would book an appointment before you need one for real. 

When you call

The receptionist will ask you for information:  

  • Who the appointment is for. They will ask for their name and date of birth. If you’re booking for someone, make sure you have this info before calling. 
  • What the appointment is for. You can give a simple summary of what is wrong. They will check how urgent the problem is and who is best to help you.

Types of appointments

The receptionist will book you in for an appointment with a GP in person or over the phone. 

Most appointments last 10-15 minutes. You can ask for a double appointment if you think you need longer to talk through everything. 

Some surgeries can book appointments in advance if the problem can wait.

What if I can't get through?

GP surgeries can be very busy. Some people say they find it hard to get through on the phone or get an appointment. If this is the case, keep trying – you’ll get what you need if you do not give up. 

Some surgeries ask you to call at a specific time if you need to see the doctor that same day. Write down the time and be sure to call then. 

Other ways of getting through

In some places, you can book an appointment online. This could be:  

  • Through an online form on their website.  
  • Through the NHS app.  

Adults you can ask for help

Tell your teacher if you are not feeling well. They may show you to the school nurse. 

Your teacher may be able to help you book a doctor’s appointment, if the person you look after at home feels sick. 

Preparing for your appointment

If you think you may forget what you want to say, write it down before you go. You can always give it to the doctor.

Some GP surgeries may want you to wear a mask. You can ask about Covid rules when you book your appointment.

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