Out of Area Registration Scheme
Registering with us as a new patient, or staying with us if you are a current patient and if you live outside our catchment area
If you are thinking of joining us and you are out of our catchment area, you must agree to these rules
We recognise that some of our currently registered patients would like to remain registered with us due to familiarity and for continuity in their care. This may be possible when you move out of our catchment area*, but the following rules will still apply to you.
As a practice, we do allow patients to register with us, even if they live beyond our catchment area*, but with some exceptions (for example; home visits and urgent treatment) and some restrictions (for example; referrals) to the services that we provide.
*To be accepted as an out of area patient, you must live outside our catchment area but within England, if you live outside of England, unfortuantely we cannot accept your registration or keep you registered as a patient.
Out Of Area Registration
Amersham Vale Practice recognises that not all patients wish to register at a surgery close to their home address. Many patients prefer to register closer to their place of work or study. In order to address this demand we are introducing a new type of registration called “Out of Area” (OOA) Registration.
OOA Registration offers the patients all the services usually associated with registration, with two exceptions: Home Visits and urgent treatment (if you cannot come to the practice). If an OOA Registered patient is unwell and needs to be seen at home, whatever the time of day or night, they can call 111 (urgent) or 999 (emergency) and get the care they needed.
There are some patients who are not suitable for OOA registration. These include any patient who is likely to require input from a specialist team who are geographically located according to their home, not their GP address.
This includes (but not limited to) patients / services in the following services:
- Pregnant women/ Antenatal services
- Families with children aged 15 years or younger
- Patients with serious mental health problems (e.g. Psychosis, Bi-Polar, Schizophrenia) who many need support from mental health specialist teams (e.g. Community Mental Health Team)
- Patients or Families with Child Safeguarding needs/ Children’s Social Care
- Patients with Adult Safeguarding needs/ Adult Social Care
- Patients with complex community-based packages of care/ Adult Social Care
The reasons for denying the option of OOA registration to patients in groups such as these is that their health and social care needs are based met through registration close to where they live. It is difficult and impractical for GP’s to coordinate such care remotely with services, with which they do not already have strong professional working relationships.
The practice has the right to decline to register any patient from these categories or if a current patient, request the patient to register elsewhere if their circumstances result in them entering one of these groups while being registered as OOA at our practice.
OOA registration will, we hope, allow patients who are pleased with the level of care our service provides to remain with our practice should they move away, if they wish, We also hope that patients who travel to work or study in the New Cross area, and who are therefore part of our community, might also have access to our GP surgery for the first time.
Please note that registering as an OOA patient you may sometimes need a referral to a particular service. Sometimes there are restrictions to how and where we can refer you as some referrals are based on your address. We are limited when it comes to referrals beyond our local area. So there may be times a referral will be rejected simply based on your home address which is out of our control. If you are seeking a referral it may be better to join a GP practice closer to home to avoid any possible delays to any treatment (including urgent treatment, such as urgent suspected cancer referrals).
Also note, if we agree to keep you registered you must agree to attend any 'review' appointments. You will be invited at least 3 times a year, if applicable, for a review of your medical condition (asthma, diabetes etc.) or if eligible flu vaccine, smear test etc. If you fail to attend an appointment for these reviews following your third invite, we may remove you from the practice list and advised you to register to a GP practice to your home address.
What do I do to register as an Out-of-Area Patient?
You MUST AGREE to the above and then complete the New Patient Registration form:
By completing the form above indicates to us that you agree to the out of area exceptions and restrictions, and you may be asked to register to a GP surgery closer to your home address that would provide you with suitable and unrestrictive care according to your needs
You MUST AGREE to the above and then complete the CHANGE OF ADDRESS FORM
By completing the change of address form indicates to us that you agree to the out of area exceptions and restrictions, and you may be asked to register to a GP surgery closer to your home address that would provide you with suitable and unrestrictive care according to your needs
1) What happens initially after I join the practice as an out of area patient or change my address which is out of area?
Over the first few weeks a doctor will review your notes. If newly registered, it may take longer for us to review them as there maybe a delay in receiving your previous medical records. If the doctor assesses that you (or any member of your family (under 16 years) are not suitable to stay on as an out of area patient at Amersham Vale, we will send you a letter to let you know. We will also inform you by text message if we hold a mobile number for you on our records. We will then start proceedings to remove you (and your family, if applicable) from the practice which normally takes 30 days. This should give you enough time to register with another GP practice. We only remove you if we feel that your care will be restricted and it would be best for you to be registered closer to home.
Until you hear from us otherwise, you can stay registered with us as an OOA patient. If you move back within our catchment area, please let us know your new address as soon as possible so we can then register you as a regular patient without any restrictions.
2) Why do I have to be registered as an out of area patient; why can I not be registered as a regular patient?
All GP surgeries across the UK, agree their catchment area with their local CCG, which indicates how far they are able to provide safely home visits and urgent treatment for their patients, which is also our case. While we endeavour to provide care to as many patients as possible we cannot safely offer home visits or urgent treatment for patients beyond our catchment area. This is why we need to register patients living outside of our catchment areas, as out-of-area patients.
3) What if I move back into the catchment area, after being registered as out of area?
Simply complete the change of address form, above. If accepted, we will then re-register you as a regular patient. Then the above rules will no longer apply to you.
4) What if I do not agree to out of area restrictions?
We do not have to accept patients that live outside of our catchment area, but we are allowed to, if it is safe to do so and in the patient's best interest. The restrictions are in place are set by NHS England and local CCG.
If you do not agree, you simply need to register to a GP closer to your home address to get the full benefits of a GP service which they can offer to you within their catchment area.
If you need help in finding a local GP practice, you can access the NHS Choices website or telephone NHS 111 which can provide details of local NHS services to your address.
5) What if I develop one of the exclusions above whilst registered as an out of area patient?
A doctor reviews OOA patients on a regular basis, and on an ADHOC patient by patient basis.
If they notice you are fall under any of the exclusions, we will regrettable have to remove you from our list and you will need to register with a GP practice closer to home.
We do not remove out of area patients without a valid reason, if we have to it's because it is for your safety to ensure you get the full and safe care a GP service can offer you.
You will be notified and given 30 days to find a different GP surgery, which by the end of the 30 days, you no longer be a patient at Amersham Vale.
6) What if I have children under 16 years old and I am removed, can they stay registered?
No, the children will also be deducted, as children under the age of 16 need to be registered with their parent/guardian. Also, we cannot accept an out of area registration or accept to keep you registered, if the family has a child/ren under 16 years old.
7) What if I live just on the boarder of the practice?
You will still be registered as an out of area patient, and the above restrictions will still apply, or you will be asked to register closer to your home address.
8) What if I want to complain about this?
Any questions, please ask us.
We understand that you may like continuity of care, but this is in place to protect you, to ensure safety.
We love to keep all our patients, but safety of your care is of utmost importance, and if there are limitations to what care we can provide you, it would be in your best interest to be at a surgery closer to home, so you get the full benefits of a GP surgery as a regular patient.
If you wish to discuss this with an independent person you may wish to contact the local Healthwatch Lewisham who can be contacted on 020 3886 0196
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