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​Can You Refuse a Patient Registration Application?

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Under the NHS Constitution, any member of the public within the practice boundary can choose to register at any GP practice and then request a particular doctor. In general, you are not able to refuse an application for registration, and should make efforts to meet the patient’s request for consultations with a particular doctor. However, there are circumstances in which the GP practice can refuse an application for patient registration. When making its inspections, the CQC will expect that registration guidelines are followed and that the practice is capable of meeting the needs of its patients.

Delivering care to patients

GP practices are duty-bound to provide care when emergency treatment is required, and even when required treatment is not considered to be of an urgent nature, there is only a limited amount of discretion afforded for the refusal of a request for registration. Refusal can only be made if it is considered reasonable and not related to:

- Race

- Gender

- Age

- Religion

- Sexual orientation

- Disability

- Medical condition

- Social class

- Inability to prove identity or address

Practices must also be aware that there are specific expectations with regard to the treatment of homeless patients and asylum seekers and refugees. During inspection, the CQC will want to see evidence that the practice is proactive in its approach to vulnerable members of society: this approach begins with the practice’s registration procedures and policies.

Making sure that patient registration guidelines, obligations, and practice policies are covered during induction training should be a prerequisite at all practices. When this is done, and then reinforced within the general working policies and continual training of the GP practice, this key area of inspection will never be problematic. 

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions - alex.henman@esuppliesmedical.co.uk - 01865 261451

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