Out-of-area GP registrations and patient choice

There is no obligation to participate in this scheme – practices can choose whether to register out-of-area patients.

Out-of-area patients can access all services from your GP practice except home visits and urgent treatment.

NHS England is responsible for procuring urgent GP services and home visiting should a patient need to be seen where they live. In most areas this will be delegated to CCGs through co-commissioning arrangements.

Practices should only register an out-of-area patient after they have got assurance from the regional team or CCG that these arrangements are in place where they live.

The BMA is monitoring the coverage of these services to ensure they are comprehensive and safe.



British Medical Association – Oct 2020


All practices are required to have agreed an “inner” boundary with their commissioner (NHS England or CCG). Anyone who resides within the practice’s inner boundary is entitled to apply to register for primary care medical services and the practice boundary should be clearly advertised to patients on the GPs practice leaflet or website if they have one.   In addition most practices have also agreed an “outer” practice boundary.  Patients who move out of a practice’s inner boundary area but still reside in the outer boundary area may be able to remain registered with the practice if they wish and the practice agrees.


GP practices are able to register new patients who live outside the practice area without any obligation to provide home visits or services out of hours when the patient is unable to attend their registered practice.  It is for a practice to decide, at the point of registration, whether it is clinically appropriate and practical to register the individual patient in that way.


NHS England – Oct 2020