GPs - What to expect from your doctor - At your appointment
What happens at an appointment?
During the appointment your GP will ask you questions about your mental and physical health. Try and be as honest as possible with your GP. Give them as much detail as you can about how you’re feeling and what your symptoms are. This will help them decide what can help you.
A GP could:
- give advice on things like sleep or stress,
- prescribe you medication,
- pass your details on to a talking therapy service, or
- pass your details on to a specialist mental health team.
Your GP should not usually prescribe you antipsychotic medication unless they have had advice from a psychiatrist.
Ask why you have been given a certain treatment. Your GP should tell you how it can help you and explain possible side effects. Ask how well it works and what you should do if it doesn’t work. Ask if there is anything else you can do to help yourself.
You could ask for advice on the following:
- Alcohol or drugs
- Flu injections
Appointments last around 10 minutes. For some people this is not enough time. When you make your appointment, ask for a longer appointment if you think you will need more time.
Your treatment and care through your GP is free, but you may need to pay for a prescription if you need medication.
You can check what treatment is recommended for your condition on the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidelines. NICE produce guidelines for how health professionals should treat certain conditions. You can download these from their website here. But the NHS does not have to follow these recommendations.
The GP will write down what you talk about in your appointment. This will include your symptoms and any treatment they give you or offer to you. The GP will record this on your medical notes. Your notes will be kept confidential. This means they should not pass them on to anyone else unless you agree or it is necessary to.
You can find more information about ‘Confidentiality’ here.
Need practical advice & info? We can help.
Contact our Advice team about mental health & related issues
0300 5000 927 Monday - Friday 9.30am - 4pm, not including bank holidays