Healthy London Partnership’s London Homeless Health Programme (LHHP) is working to improve the health, and access to health services, for people who are homeless in London.
The numbers of people sleeping rough in London have been increasing steadily over recent years. Wellbeing and health are seriously compromised when you are affected by homelessness. The average age of death for someone who is sleeping rough is just 47, half that of the general population. People who are homeless often have complex co-morbidities and are much less like likely to be registered with a GP and much more likely to use A&E services.
In line with previous research, a recent report from Healthy London Partnership found that access requirements - such as being asked to provide proof of address and ID - were a key barrier to accessing primary care for people who are homeless.
As part of our work, we have produced the ‘My right to access healthcare’ cards to help people experiencing homelessness to register and receive treatment at GP practices in London.
For more information please click on the links below;
Homelessness resource pack_0.pdf
The cards can be used to remind GP receptionists and other practice staff of the national patient registration guidance from NHS England. This states that:
- people do not need a fixed address or identification to register or access treatment at a GP practice
- Where necessary, the practice may use the practice’s address to register the patient if they wish
40,000 plastic cards were handed to homeless members of our comminities in shelters, day centres and other organisations across London. An image of the cards is attached, as well as a copy of the guidance. The cards were produced in partnership with Healthwatch and homeless charity Groundswell.