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 10 GP practices in Portsmouth. You should register with a GP practice, even if you are not currently ill.

Find out how to make an appointment at a Portsmouth GP practice, find a practice website and opening times and watch practice videos.

 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 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.

Find out about the many services your pharmacy offers, including over-the-counter medicines, repeat prescriptions, healthcare advice and Pharmacy First.

A team of specialist pharmacists is also supporting patients and working to relieve the pressure on primary care


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.


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.