Information for patients

What can patients expect of their doctor?

Doctors, and the whole healthcare system, continue to be under intense pressure.

However, doctors are still accountable for the decisions they make. They’re expected to do their best in extraordinary circumstances to deliver good care and follow our guidance. They should treat you with dignity and respect, listen to your concerns and discuss options with you.

If you need medical help, the health service is there for you. You should continue to attend appointments, unless you’ve been told not to. If you have new health concerns, you can:

  • contact your GP by phone to be assessed
  • use the online NHS 111 service. Only call 111 if you can’t get help online.
  • As always, call 999 if it’s a serious or life-threatening emergency. 

You may be offered a phone or video consultation with your GP instead of visiting the surgery. We have developed a guide for patients  to help you make sure that any medicine, treatment or health advice you get online is safe and right for you.

You can play your part in reducing pressure on the health service by:

  • following the latest advice on the NHS 111 website
  • following the latest UK government advice at GOV.UK
  • contacting your GP or calling 111 if you need medical help
  • being understanding of the pressure on doctors and healthcare staff
  • treating all NHS staff with respect.