GPs are the doctors who look after your health from the point when you are born all the way through for the rest of your life. They work with health professionals from almost every other service, so are a very important source of information and guidance. They are usually the best place to start if you or a member of your family have a health concern.
Your GP will have first met you when you were six weeks old.
GPs are general practice doctors, this means they have training and expertise at a general level in all areas of health and wellbeing and are the first step towards more targeted or specialist services.
GP teams are made up of doctors, receptionists, nurses, and counsellors.
GPs have links to many other health professionals.
Young people may need to see their GP for a huge variety of reasons, including:
- Infections, viruses or general illness
- Physical injuries, aches, pains or sore joints
- Feeling sad or unhappy about something in life
- Contraception or pregnancy,
GPs are also the best place to start if you are not sure what is wrong but need advice, support or guidance on what to do next.
The only time when you might go straight to hospital is if you thought there was an emergency putting someone's life at risk, or if you had been involved in an accident and thought you had broken a bone or needed stitches urgently.
GPs are service for everyone. If you have to spend a lot of time in hospital or need specialist care or health support, you might see a consultant or specialist doctor. The rest of the time GPs are there to support everyone who lives in Wiltshire, throughout their whole life.
You ring us up for an appointment.
Our team works out how quickly we need to see you - the same day, or sometime in the next few days.
You can see us on your own, or bring someone with you whether this is a family member or a friend. What is important to us is that you feel you can talk easily.
Each surgery will have slightly different ways of seeing patients. Some will need you to call them to make an appointment, but others might use their website or even mobile phones. The best place to start is by going in to your local surgery and talking to a receptionist about who you are and what you need.
We are the only people who hold all of your patient record so we can work out what is going on, but it remains confidential. That means that what you tell us remains private between you and the GP/nurse unless in the very rare situation that we thought you were in danger. If we felt we had to tell another grown-up we would tell you why we were going to do that and ask your permission. If you said no but we still really felt you were in danger we would tell you what we were going to do. It's very very rare. For example we don't have to tell another grown up you have come to see us for contraception unless, for example, you told us that you were being forced to have a sexual relationship that you didn't want to be in.
GPs work with people of all ages, all over Wiltshire. This means you will not need to change your GP when you turn 18.
Moving in and out of Wiltshire
If you move in or out of a county, registering with a GP is a good first step. You will need to be registered with a local GP to access most targeted and specialist services where an assessment or referral are involved.