General Medical Services describes the contractual arrangement between the Government and Partnerships of General Practitioners to provide NHS services to patients. The Partnerships themselves are private businesses which, under the GMS contract, will provide NHS care to their patients, free at the point of use.

As well as GMS services, Partnerships may provide other Services, which are not covered by the General Medical Services Contract; for these a charge may be made.

Partnerships also have to adhere to other legislation; the Acts mentioned here are the most commonly relevant to patients, the Data Protection Act and the Freedom of Information Act.