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Register with a local GP - it’s easy

Published on:

15 June 2016

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Don't wait until you or a member of your family is ill - register with a GP now. This is the message of a new campaign from Enfield Council, in partnership with Healthwatch Enfield.

Don't wait until you or a member of your family is ill - register with a GP now. This is the message of a new campaign from Enfield Council, in partnership with Healthwatch Enfield.

All residents living in Enfield can register with a GP in their local area and ensure that they and their families have access to healthcare when they need it.

The campaign follows a recent survey carried out in the Edmonton area by Healthwatch Enfield which showed a significant number of residents were not registered with a doctor.

In December of 2015 leaflets were distributed in parts of the borough where some residents were thought not to be registered with a local GP. These listed the surgeries and contact details in each area so that residents could select the nearest to their homes.

Cllr Krystle Fonyonga, Enfield Council's Cabinet Member for Community Safety & Public Health, said: "GPs are essential in providing health services for all the family and are an important gateway to other healthcare services like vaccinations for children, advice and support on family planning, diet, sexual health and quitting smoking and there are also free health checks for blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes."

Healthwatch Chief Executive, Patricia Mecinska, added: "Many of those we surveyed told us they had tried to register but couldn't provide all the right documents. People living with relatives or friends or in temporary accommodation didn't have their names on household bills.

"Newly published national guidance makes it clear that even if you have not got all the documents you still have the right to register with a GP, and temporary registrations are possible for visitors for up to three months."

Cllr Fonyonga said: "Often people who are not registered with a GP go to hospital A&E departments where they may wait for long periods before seeing a doctor.

"It is much simpler to register with a local GP surgery knowing that a doctor is close by to give health advice and treatment. The benefits mean that families can enjoy improved health with the medical support and advice that they may need. I urge everyone to register with a local GP surgery."

Patricia Mecinska, Healthwatch Enfield's Chief Executive, further added: "To clarify some of the misconceptions around the process, you do not require a proof of identity (such as a passport) or a proof of address to be eligible for GP registration.

"You are also entitled to access services of a qualified interpreter to discuss your health needs. It is our role as Healthwatch Enfield to support local residents with navigating the complex system of healthcare and I would urge the public to get in touch with us. "Whether you have struggled to register with a GP previously or are unsure of the type of documents, that are required, we are here to help."

To find a local surgery visit NHS.UK or email Healthwatch Enfield. You can also contact the team on 020 8373 6283 and visit their social media pages: