Since 2015, all GP practices in England have been free to register new patients who live outside their practice boundary area.
This means you can register with a GP practice somewhere that's more convenient for you, such as a practice near your work or closer to your children's schools. This will give you greater choice and aims to improve the quality of access to GP services. Use the Services near you facility to find out what people say about a GP practice.
These arrangements are voluntary for GP practices. If the practice has no capacity at the time, or feels it is not clinically appropriate or practical for you to be registered so far away from home, they can still refuse registration. The practice should explain to you their reason for refusing your registration.
You may wish to join a GP near work or re-register with your old GP following a move. The new arrangements make this possible; however, there are a few things to consider:
Because of the greater distance to your home, the GP you register with is under no obligation to offer you a home visit. If you are not well enough to go to the practice yourself, then other arrangements will be made. NHS England (the body responsible for buying GP services) ensures there is access to a service either near your home or at home (if needed). When you register with a practice further away from home, you will be given information about what you should do in those circumstances.