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Doctors, Dentists and the National Health Service (NHS)

Registering With a Doctor

The National Health Service (NHS) is the publicly-funded healthcare system in the UK. If you are moving to England for more than 6 months, you may be entitled to free NHS treatment (along with your spouse or civil partner and children, if they live with you permanently). Like other UK residents, you will pay some NHS charges (e.g. prescriptions) unless you are exempt. You may need to provide evidence to prove you live permanently in the UK, for example, your job contract or tenancy agreement.

It is essential that you register with a local doctor (General Practitioner, GP) when you move to the area. Visit the NHS website to find details of some of the GP practices in the central Durham area.

If you wish to register with a practice, please visit the surgery of your choice and talk to the receptionist. The following information is generally required:

  • Full name, including previous names
  • Date and place of birth
  • Previous address
  • New address and postcode
  • Name and address of your previous Doctor
  • NHS number (if you have already registered for NHS services before) - it is not the same as your National Insurance number
  • Identification document (original)

You will also be asked to provide proof of identity and entitlement to NHS care. A copy of your proof of identity and entitlement to NHS care will be stored electronically in your Medical Records.

The following proofs of identity will be accepted (in preferred order):

  • Passport (including a visa for stay in the UK)
  • NHS Medical Card
  • Photo Driving Licence
  • Birth Certificate
  • Marriage Certificate
  • National Insurance Number Card
  • Evidence of benefit entitlement
  • Wage slip with employer details

You must provide your proof within five working days following completion of your registration application

You can also telephone NHS Direct on 111 if you are concerned about your health or require information about local healthcare services. If you need medical treatment urgently, call 999 or go to the nearest Accident and Emergency. In Durham, go to the University Hospital of North Durham, North Road, DH1 5TW.

Finding a Doctor's Practice (or 'GP')

The University has a health centre on Green Lane. It is run in partnership with Claypath Medical Centre

University Health Centre
Green Lane, Old Elvet, Durham, DH1 3JX. Telephone: +44 (0)191 386 5081.

Claypath Medical Centre
26 Gilesgate, Durham, DH1 1QW. Telephone: +44 (0)191 374 6888. Email:

For information on your nearest doctor's surgery please visit the NHS website or contact your Relocation Manager at or by telephone: +44 (0)191 334 6417.

Dental Practices

You can register with a dentist in the same way as you register with a doctor.  There are private practices but it is recommended that you register with a dentist who accepts NHS patients.

City centre dentists include:

Claypath Dental Practice
71 Claypath, Durham, DH1 1QT. Telephone: +44 (0)191 386 5375.

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