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How to register with a GP practice

You have the legal right to choose a GP practice that best suits your needs. Try comparing GP practices according to facilities, services, access and performance before you decide.

When you have found a practice you like, you’ll have to formally register with it as an NHS patient by submitting a registration form to them.

The GMS1 registration form (PDF, 156kb) is available at the practice, or you can download it from GOV.UK.

Forms may vary slightly, and some practices use their own version.

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How to access an NHS dentist

There is no need to register with a dentist in the same way as with a GP because you are not bound to a catchment area.

Simply find a dental surgery that’s convenient for you, whether it’s near your home or work, and phone them to see if there are any appointments available.

Dental surgeries will not always have the capacity to take on new NHS patients – you may have to join a waiting list, look for a different dentist who is taking on new NHS patients, or be seen privately.

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How to contact mental health services

Bedfordshire Mental Health and Wellbeing Service provides mental health services across Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire.

We are commissioned by Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to provide the following services:

  • Improving Access to Psychological Services (IAPT)
  • Adult, older adult mental health and learning disability services
  • Adult rehabilitation and recovery services
  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services.

Our community services include Adult Community Mental Health Teams (CMHTs), Older People’s CMHTs and Children’s and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) teams. Our inpatient service includes a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), Older Person’s Wards and Adult Admission Wards.


How to get adult social care support

If you have any care or support needs you can ask Central Bedfordshire Council for a needs assessment.

The assessment will look at both your physical, mental and emotional needs. You might need help to get dressed or just an extra stair rail, but we’ll also find out what’s important to you, such as being able to carry on working or volunteering, or being able to meet your friends.

A trained person will chat to you about your needs and the sort of help you could benefit from.


How to search for the best care home

If you, your relative or person you care for is in need of additional support, which can only be given in a care home setting, you can search for the best facility on the Care Quality Commission (CQC) website.

The CQC inspect and rate residential care homes and nursing homes. You can use our inspection reports and ratings to help you understand the quality of care.

In most cases, our inspection reports include ratings. These can help you to compare services and make choices about care.

There are four ratings that we give to health and social care services:

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How to raise concerns, give feedback or make a complaint about a GP practice

If you are unhappy with the treatment or service you, or a family member or someone you care for has received from a GP practice, you may want to make a complaint. Download a step by step process on how to raise a concern, give feedback or make a complaint to a GP practice.

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How to book a blood test at Bedford Hospital

All Adult Outpatients Blood Tests at Bedford Hospital have been moved to Gilbert Hitchcock House (North Wing).

Please call to make an appointment on 01234 607075 or online at

A new appointment system has been introduced and will be available for patients to pre-book appointments.  This appointment system has been implemented to ensure a reduction in the waiting and queuing time for blood tests and to ensure everyone is seen safely and social distancing measures are observed to protect both staff and patients.

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How to receive advice and support at Bedford Hospital

PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) provides advice and support to help you resolve any queries, issues or concerns you or your loved one has with any aspect of services delivered by Bedford Hospital. They can:

  • help you to resolve problems or issues that you have about our hospital services;
  • listen to your comments, compliments or concerns about services provided in the hospital; and
  • give you information about the formal complaints process and independent advocacy services.
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How to receive advice and support at Luton & Dunstable Hospital

Our top priority at the L&D is to put patients and their safety first in everything we do. We do our utmost to ensure you will be happy with the care you receive. If you have any comments or concerns about your care please ask to speak to the person in charge of your care, the Ward Sister or Matron.

If you feel that your concern has not been resolved then you can contact the PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Service) who provides advice and support to help you resolve any queries, issues or concerns you or your loved one has with any aspect of services delivered by Luton & Dunstable Hospital.


How to complain about a care home

If you are not happy with your, a friend or relative’s care home, there are steps you can take.

Step one

The usual first step is to complain to the home manager. You may find that asking for a chance to speak to them informally about your concerns may be enough to resolve the matter, or you could put your concerns into a letter if you prefer.

Step two

If the care home place is being funded by the local council, and the problem hasn’t been resolved by raising it with the care home, then you should contact the local council.

If you are a self-funder and you haven’t been able to resolve the complaint with the care home in the first instance, you’ll need to approach the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman and ask about its independent complaints review service.

Step three

If you’re unhappy with the response from the local council, then you need to approach the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman, who may be able to investigate further.