Over 65: Find the best GP

How to Choose the Best GP for Patients Aged Over 65

Choosing the best doctor is important for all ages, but very important for patients aged over 65s.  At certain key points in our lives, the care and treatment from our General Practitioners is very important.  Finding the best family doctor in your area is easy when you know how.  Most of us spend time reviewing hotels to stay at, or products to buy, not everyone spends time, or knows how to choose the best doctor.


1. I’m Over 65 – How do I Find the Best Doctor in my Area
2. Important Ratings when Choosing a Doctor: Flu Vaccination Aged 65+
3. Which GP Practices have the Most Patients Aged 65 or Over
4. Choosing the Best Doctor to Help Prevent a Stroke
5. The Best Doctors for Patients with Dementia
6. Which Doctors Offer the Longest Appointments
7. Summary: Choosing the Best GP for Patients Aged Over 65s

The NHS in England publish information that can help identify the best performing medical practices in villages, towns and cities throughout the country.  This information is gathered by the NHS and other health agencies such as the Care Quality Commission.  It can be trusted.  BestDoctorsNearMe.co.uk name some important questions to think about when considering changing family doctor.  These questions can be specific to your individual needs.

After clearly identifying what to consider when choosing a new doctor, we highlight how to find information rating surgeries within a few miles of your home.  Explanations are provided clarifying what the information can tell you, the key elements to look for and how to find great medical care near your home.

Not all patients have a great doctor.  If you have a strong physician/doctor relationship and your doctor retires you may need to find a replacement.  Other practitioners at the same surgery may not provide the same quality of treatment for your specific needs.  BestDoctorsNearMe.co.uk explain how to find a new General Practitioner for any reason, including if you are unhappy with your treatment, you move home or your current doctor is retiring.

There is no requirement to stay with one health centre.  If you are unhappy with the care and treatment provided and are considering alternatives near your home, there is information from the NHS to help you decide.  Practices must not discriminate against registering patients due to their age.  Choosing the best GP practice is important, if you are aged over 65 or not – don’t settle for poor treatment, our how to change GP Practice page explains more.

I’m Over 65 – How do I Find the Best Doctor in my Area

There are key factors to finding the best doctor in your area for patients aged 65 and over.  It is important to decide what is specifically important to your health requirements.  For example, the management of certain long term conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke prevention and some cancers may be important.  The NHS rate the performance of surgeries against these criteria – results are published so you can identify the best and worst in your area.

Once key medical criteria have been identified, other important factors can be considered.  Patients must be comfortable with the facilities available and full experience when attending a medical setting.  All of these factors are important when trying to rate health centres within a few miles of your home.  BestDoctorsNearMe.co.uk have identified five key criteria to consider when choosing a health centre in England for the over 65’s.  Other specific factors may be key for your personal circumstances.  The principles of searching and finding the best and worst health care in your area can be adapted for a range of individual needs.

Important Ratings when Choosing a Doctor: Flu Vaccination Aged 65+

One potentially important rating when choosing a good doctor relates to flu vaccinations for patients aged over 65.  This is because patients aged over 65 are more likely to become ill from flu compared to the under 65 population. Department of Health guidance recommends over 65’s to get the adult flu immunisation as a preventative measure.  Patients who have had a stroke or additional conditions such as asthma or COPD can be seriously affected by flu.  A good doctor will try and deliver flu vaccinations to as many patients aged over 65 as possible.

The NHS in England monitors the performance of General Practitioners for a number of areas.  One area concerns how many patients aged 65 and over have received a flu vaccination, out of the population as a whole.  There may be differences between health centres in your town which can be identified using NHS data.  This information can help choose the best doctor in your town for patients aged over 65.

To find how the NHS rate your local GP Practice for flu vaccination

  • Go to BestDoctorsNearMe.co.uk Best GP in my Town page
  • In the ‘metric group’ box choose ‘screening and immunisation’
  • Enter your postcode in the ‘in a location’ box.
  • ‘Sort by’ ‘Flu vaccinations – aged 65 and over group’
  • Press the ‘update results’ button.

Results are shown for doctors’ surgeries within a few miles of the chosen post code.  Practices are provided with an ‘above England average’ or ‘below England average’ rating.  This rating can help you identify potential candidates for the best GP in your area.  The actual percentage of the over 65 population in each practice that received the vaccination is also shown.  The higher the percentage the better.  A lower percentage could be considered an indicator of some of the worst practices in the area for flu immunisation.  There could however be reasons for this ‘bad’ General Practice performance.  This is one GP rating to consider when choosing or moving medical practice and an example of how NHS rankings can be used to find the best doctor near your home.

Which GP Practices have the Most Patients Aged 65 or Over

When choosing the best GP, judging which practices have the most patients aged 65 or older is a factor.  Family doctors that have a high concentration of patients of retirement age or older may be a positive.  This is because if a health centre has a high proportion of patients in one age category (for example over 65) they may need to provide more services tailored towards the needs of this group.  If a practice has a very low number of patients from retirement age groups, they are less likely to invest time and resources in services aimed at this population.  It is therefore important to understand the population of prospective practices.

England’s National Health Service record information about how many patients in each GP practice are aged 65 or older.  This information can then be used to compare health centres in your town or area.

  • Go to BestDoctorsNearMe.co.uk find GP Ratings page
  • Enter your postcode in the ‘location’ box and press search
  • In the ‘topics’ box choose ‘age of patients’
  • Press ‘update results’
  • Results for the area chosen are shown

These results show which GP practices have a higher or lower number of registered patients aged 65 years or older in your area.  Not all practices are the same some will provide better facilities for elderly patients compared to others.  The percentage of patients in a certain age group can vary quite significantly even in individual towns.

Being happy with the care and treatment provided is a positive thing that not all patients benefit from.  You may be happy with your current doctor even though they have a relatively low number of elderly patients.  If you are unhappy with the care and treatment provided by your General Practitioner, or if you are moving home, or your current doctor is retiring you may need to find a new clinician.  Understanding the percentage of patients that are in a similar age band is one useful rating to consider.

Choosing the Best Doctor to Help Prevent a Stroke

Unfortunately the risk of having a stroke increases with age, so choosing the best doctor to help prevent a stroke is sensible.  The NHS in England measure the performance of health centres in helping to prevent strokes in patients diagnosed with atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is a heart condition that causes an irregular and often fast hear rate. The correct care and treatment is important in trying to prevent illness, GP Practices are ranked in their performance.  As a patient it is sensible to use these ratings when choosing the best doctor for your needs, especially if you are diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation.

Finding great doctors in your town for stroke prevention in relation to medication for patients with atrial fibrillation is easy.

  • Go to the BestDoctorsNearMe.co.uk Best GP in my town page
  • Choose ‘managing a long term condition’ from the ‘metric group’
  • Enter your postcode in the ‘in a location’ box
  • And ‘sort by’ the option for ‘stroke prevention: medication for patients with atrial fibrillation’
  • Click to update the results.

GP Practices in your area are ranked as ‘above England value’ or ‘below England value’ to give an indication of how good they are.  Percentage scores are also provided, these can be compared – the higher the score the better.  The percentages show how many of patients with atrial fibrillation with a predicted risk of stroke are treated with a blood thinning prescribed medication.

England’s NHS provides this information.  The BestDoctorsNearMe.co.uk website simply takes this official information and presents it to enable the over 65’s choose the best rated doctors. This ranking focussing on stroke prevention and blood thinning medication is great if you are aged 65 and older and want to find the best GP for your needs.  Patients change medical practices for many reasons, including moving home, your current GP is retiring, or you are unhappy with your current doctor and the treatment provided.  Information published by the National Health Service in England can be used to influence this important decision.

The Best Doctors for Patients with Dementia

It is possible to find the best doctors to treat patients with dementia.  In England about 7% of the population aged 65 or older have dementia.  This is important as the rate of dementia increases as people get older and practices that are highly rated for dementia care could benefit some patients.  Unfortunately dementia care and treatment can be a factor when over 65 year olds choose a GP.

The NHS in England publish ratings for over 7,000 GP Practices.  One of the rankings focusses on how many patients with dementia have benefitted from a face-to-face review in the past 12 months.  A good medical doctor will undertake a higher number of face-to-face reviews, as this is best for most patients.  Practices that offer fewer face-to-face consultations may be at risk of being considered worse performing practices.

Finding the best health centre in your town or area is easy and free.  The information provided by the NHS in England is regularly updated and has its accuracy checked.  Many patients do not know there are ways to rank local health care.  When choosing a new doctor due to retirement, moving home or unhappiness with a current GP many patients still use word of mouth to choose a practice.  These simple steps can help you choose the best health providers in your area for your needs.

  • Go to the BestDoctorsNearMe.co.uk Best GP in my Town page
  • In the ‘metric group’ box, choose ‘managing mental health and dementia’
  • The ‘in a location’ box requires the post code or town you’re interested in comparing doctors within.
  • ‘Sort by’ the category ‘dementia – face-to-face reviews’ and then click ‘update results.

GP Practices with a higher percentage score and ‘above England average’ could indicate a better doctor for these specific needs.  Lower scores should not be assumed to indicate a poor quality standard of GP care, talk to your doctor if you have any concerns about Dementia care.

Which Doctors Offer the Longest Appointments

It is possible to find which doctors give the longest appointments to patients in your area.  A longer appointment time can help practitioners understand the care and treatment required by the patient.  This can be beneficial to the patient as it means they receive the correct prescription or advice.  Unfortunately, some patients feel rushed by short appointment times, this can lead to unhappiness with their GP.   Patients understand that GP practices have demands placed on them that require efficient use of time. However, time spent consulting with a health practitioner is important, clear communication can benefit from longer appointment times.

The NHS in England ask patients twice a year for their views on appointment times.  Specifically, if they were allocated enough time with a doctor or nurse.  These views are collected from over 7,000 health centres and can be used to compare results for your town or area.  The BestDoctorsNearMe.co.uk website publishes this National Health Service information, to enable you to find GPs offering the lengthiest appointment times.

  • To compare the length of GP appointment times:
  • Go to the BestDoctorsNearMe.co.uk GP Ratings page and enter the town or postcode you are interested in.
  • In ‘topics’ choose ‘patient experience’ from the drop down list.
  • Sort by ‘length of consultation’

The best GP Practices are shown with a tick.  The worst GP Practices for length of consultation time are shown with an exclamation mark.  Average doctor’s surgeries are shown by an ‘ok’.  The comparative ratings also show what percentage of patients thought their GP spent a very good, or good amount of time with them.  The higher the percentage the better.  A poor rating for family doctors would show an exclamation mark and a relatively low percentage score.

Summary:  Choosing the Best GP for Patients Aged Over 65s

Information exists to help compare and choose the best GP for patients aged over 65.  The BestDoctorsNearMe.co.uk website highlights NHS information that compares and rates doctors for a number of criteria important to patients aged over 65.  Not all patients have the same needs, but the principles highlighted can be tailored to your specific health and care requirements.  Patients change GP Practice for a number of reasons, including unhappiness with their current doctor, moving home, or the retirement of their current doctor.  Comparison information provided by the NHS can help select the best doctor and should be used for this important choice.