These services include your typical GP surgery but also a range of other services such as out-of-hours or mobile doctor services, walk-in centres, minor injury units or urgent care centres.
A fresh start for the regulation and inspection of GP practices and GP out-of-hours services
Last year we set out our plans for regulating, inspecting and monitoring GP practices and GP out-of-hours services.
You can read about our new approach in detail in our provider handbooks.
Types of GP service
NHS GP practices
- Range in size from those run by one doctor to those with large numbers of partners working across multiple sites.
- Many practices also employ staff including nurses, physiotherapists and office managers.
- Doctors will carry out medical consultations and minor treatments, discuss diagnosis and treatment and may prescribe medication.
NHS out-of-hours services
- These operate during the out-of-hours period when your GP practice is closed – usually 6.30pm - 8am on weekdays and all day on weekends and bank holidays.
- If you call your GP practice during this period, you will usually be redirected to one of these services.
- May include GPs or healthcare professionals working from A&E departments and minor injury units or making home visits.
- Sometimes involves ambulance services moving patients to where they can be seen by a doctor or a nurse.
- Usually managed by a nurse, these services are available to all and no appointments are needed.
- Most centres are open 365 days a year and outside office hours.
- Deal with minor illnesses and injuries rather than long-term conditions or life-threatening problems.
- Some centres also offer access to doctors as well as nurses.
Minor injury units
- Deal with minor injuries such as broken bones, sprains, burns and scalds.
- Allow A&E staff to concentrate on more serious injuries and conditions.
- Can help you avoid a long wait for a minor treatment in A&E.
- Some minor injury units and walk-in centres do not have facilities to treat young children.
We monitor data on GP practices to help us decide when, where and what to inspect.