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Moving & Having to Change GP 

Moving is stressful and a right old faff at times, you need to change your address details with all the banks, relevant companies and then remember to change utility companies, etc. Not to mention the packing up of the old home and unpacking at the new one.

The main issue with having a stoma and moving is the fact you need to change GP and you need to do it quickly. If you aren’t registered with a GP then you can’t get stoma supplies. 

Changing GP

In this day and age of increased population numbers getting into your local GP practice can cause untold stress. In my area there is a six-month waiting list to get into a local practice as a new sign up and living in a village means my location is slightly isolated and there is only one practice that I can go too due to being out of catchment area for my old doctors. 

I remember the phone call with my old doctor’s surgery, I explained that I was moving and that the local practice had a six-month waiting list. I was advised that it’s not their problem and I once moved would no longer be covered even though I have only moved 2.5 miles up the road. This caused me a fair amount of anxiety and stress. I have my stoma supplies reordered every 4-5 weeks and I have my monthly repeat prescription for pain medications. Changing my address with the delivery company was a breeze. Staying with the old GP whilst locating a new one, not so much…

If you move, are out of catchment area and don’t notify the practice you are moving, they have the authority to decline your repeat prescription for stoma supplies. 

This can leave you without your much-needed appliances and supplies.

What can you do? 

There are several things you can do if you’re without any supplies and that would be to contact your stoma nurse and source supplies from the local hospital until you can get into a new practice. 

What did I do? 

To be rather blunt, I had a rather fraught conversation with my GP and the practice manager, explained my predicament. I said that due to the waiting lists I can not be without a GP. Thankfully they are keeping me on their books until I have been registered with the local practice. 

Patient allocation team

Where I live there are approximately 20 GP practices that are understaffed and full to capacity for patients. I called 7 GP practices within my local area to be told that their books are closed to new patients or there is a 6-8 month waiting list to get registered. 

Having a stoma and a chronic illness means I can’t be without a doctor due to needing monthly supplies of both stoma appliances and medication.

What is the patient allocation team? 

When you move the GP can strike you off of their books with no notification. This is where the patient allocation team comes in. One phone call and an email later and I was happily tapping away my life details and fingers crossed I will be allocated into a new practice. 

The patient allocation team are absolutely fantastic and very helpful, they can get you into any local practice and make sure your care is continued and you are looked after. 

Have any of you had troubles being reallocated to a new practice? 

I would love to hear your stories.

As always 

Many thanks for reading 

Louise X

Louise uses our Vitamin E range to keep her stoma site healthy. To try a sample, click here.

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