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Out of Area Patients

Since January 5th 2015, all GP practices in England are free to register new patients who live outside their practice boundary area. These new 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 patients to be registered so far away from their home address, they can still refuse registration. The practice should explain their reason for refusing your registration to patients.


All primary medical services contracts (GMS, PMS and APMS) have consistent contractual terms that provide practices the option to register out of area without obligations to provide:

  • Home visits;

  • Immediately necessary treatment following accident or emergency when the patient is at home;

  • Access to out of hours services (if not opted out) when the patient is at home (and it is not reasonable to expect the patient to attend); or,

  • Other such services provided by the contractor, which for clinical or practical reasons it is not reasonable to expect the patient to attend their registered practice, e.g. this could include follow up care following hospital discharge.


All GP practices have discretion to apply the new term that removes the obligation to provide home visits (etc.) when registering any new patient who lives outside their practice area, providing they have decided at the point of registration that it is clinically appropriate and practical for the individual patient to be registered this way.

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