Primary Care

Your first point of contact in the healthcare system - including GP practices, pharmacists, dentists and opticians.


GP practices

General Practitioners (GPs) treat common medical conditions and refer patients to hospitals and other medical services for urgent and specialist treatment. They are highly skilled doctors who help patients manage their health and prevent illness. GPs work alongside other healthcare professionals at a GP practice – discover more about the team at your GP practice.

There are 12 GP practices in Portsmouth. You can register with a GP practice, even if you are not currently ill. Each practice has its own website where you can follow the link for new patients or patient registration.

 All city practices are now working together in Primary Care Networks (PCNs).

Zero tolerance to staff abuse

We are aware that staff in GP practices have experienced threatening behaviour and verbal abuse from some patients who might be finding it difficult to get an appointment or see a GP when they want to. This abuse is unacceptable.

Every doctor, nurse, GP, pharmacist and healthcare professional has the right to care for others without fear of being attacked or abused, and we support all of our Practices with a zero tolerance on abuse against NHS workers.

When you contact your GP practice to make an appointment, you will be asked some questions which are designed to help staff guide you to the most appropriate clinical person to help you with your condition. This could be a nurse, clinical pharmacist, physician’s associate, GP, paramedic or more.

Anyone who abuses or threatens our NHS colleagues will be asked to leave the Practice and the Police will be called.


Pharmacists

Pharmacists are specialists in the use of medicines, and a source of expertise and advice. Your local community pharmacist is a trained medical professional who can guide you on the best treatment for a wide range of illnesses and minor ailments.

You can visit a community pharmacy without the need to make an appointment. Several pharmacies in the city are open until late evening and on Sundays.

Pharmacy First

Many pharmacies participate in the Pharmacy First scheme, which allows people who receive certain benefits to go straight to their pharmacist to receive treatment, for selected minor ailments, without needing to visit their GP to get a prescription.

Electronic Repeat Dispensing (eRD)

You might be suitable for electronic repeat dispensing (eRD) if you get regular or repeat medicines that do not change. eRD means your GP can send your regular or repeat prescriptions electronically to a pharmacy of your choice. You can then collect your medication from your pharmacy, or ask them to deliver it to your home. Find out more about eRD here.

Over the Counter (OTC) Medicines

There are many medicines which can help with minor health concerns, but which do not require a prescription.

Over the counter medicines are available to buy in a pharmacy or supermarket in your local community. The team of health professionals at your local pharmacy can offer help and clinical advice to manage minor health concerns and if your symptoms suggest it’s more serious, they’ll ensure you get the care you need, including referring you to your GP if appropriate. Please help the NHS to use resources sensibly.

You can read this leaflet explaining more about over-the-counter medicines.


Dentists

If you are registered with a dentist, you will be offered regular check ups and can also seek advice for dental problems and pain. Most dentists offer NHS and private treatment.

If you are registered as an NHS patient, your dentist will provide all treatment that they feel is clinically necessary to keep your teeth, gums and mouth healthy.

NHS dental treatment does not cover any cosmetic treatments that are only to improve your appearance, such as teeth whitening, and are not clinically necessary. You may choose to have this dental work done, and it may be completed at your current dentist, but you will be charged privately. Your dentist should make sure you know how much this will cost before treatment starts.

Dental services are commissioned by NHS England. You can find out more about NHS dental services, how to find a dentist and treatment costs on the NHS England website.


Opticians

Having regular eye tests are an important check of your vision and also the health of your eyes. You might be entitled to free NHS eye tests or vouchers to reduce the cost of glasses or contact lenses.

If you are not eligible for NHS-funded sight tests or vouchers, you’ll have to cover the costs yourself.

Optometry services are commissioned by NHS England. See if you’re entitled to free NHS eye tests, and where your nearest optician is, on the NHS England website.