Register with a GP within your area and which is accepting new patients.
You will have to complete a registration form so you can be given an NHS number. You will need photo ID such as your passport or driving licence and proof of address such as a recent utility bill (but not a mobile phone bill). You can register with a GP practice as a temporary resident if you are in an area for more than 24 hours but less than three months.
Due to demand on services, you will often to have to wait a few days to see a GP. If you want a same-day appointment, it generally needs to be booked as soon as the surgery opens and you may have to gently convince the receptionist of the urgency.
Walk-In Centres can provide treatment for minor injuries or illnesses such as cuts, bruises and rashes. You don’t need to be registered and you don’t need an appointment to attend.
There is no need to register with a dentist. Find a practice and phone for an appointment. You’re entitled to have all clinically necessary treatment on the NHS. This means that the NHS will provide any treatment that you need to keep your mouth, teeth and gums healthy and free of pain.
You can dial 111 if you urgently need medical help or advice but it’s not a life-threatening situation. If you have a life-threatening emergency then dial 999 for assistance.
Sexual health or GUM clinics in the UK are free and you don’t have to be registered with a GP to use them. They can provide you with free condoms, STI testing, advice on contraception and pregnancy. You can make an appointment to go there, or some operate a drop-in clinic, so you can just turn up.
Moving to the UK is an adventure but it can also be stressful, lonely and just different. If you’ve been feeling depressed, or anxiety is limiting your daily life then make an appointment to speak to your GP. Around half the GP surgeries in England provide counselling services and support, and if they don’t provide it there, they can refer you to a service that is free in the NHS.
For health and social care services: www.nhs.uk/Service-Search
For information, advice or support with accessing health or social care services in Luton: www.healthwatchluton.co.uk
Visit www.nhs.uk for other health and social care information.