Healthwatch East Riding: Fair System - Access to Primary Care

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Healthwatch East Riding: Fair System - Access to Primary Care.

Fair system? Evalulating the access to primary care for people without an address, identification, or documentation.
Nationally the awareness of those who identify as homeless has been on the rise. With an increase in the number of homeless individuals, questions have been asked about how they access Primary Care, if and when they should need it.

Issues around address, documentation and identification are all valid issues as to why individuals may struggle to access primary care.

These reasons are not unique to homeless people and may affect many members of the public. As a result Healthwatch East Riding of Yorkshire (HWERY) have investigated the requirements of GP practices so that the public can be better informed about their rights when accessing Primary Care.

The report examines the process by which those with no permanent address, sofa surfing, sleeping rough and people with no identification register with a GP practice to access Primary Care.

In addition to this Healthwatch also investigate which practices across the region are not following national guidance when faced with members of the public who may find it difficult to produce documentation.

To read the full report, click here

Recommendations made by Healthwatch
HWERY recommendations as a result of their findings seek to address the perceived disparity between GP practices being aware of their responsibility in registering patients who are homeless, or do not have a permanent address, and the negative experiences of this vulnerable group in accessing primary care.

  • East Riding & Vale of York CCGs to ensure that all East Riding GP surgeries be made aware of the NHS England leaflet “Registering with a GP, Homeless Persons” 
  • HWERY to produce a small card to provide to the public stating their rights when trying to access care without identification or documentation 
  • East Riding & Vale of York CCGs to encourage that GP Practices clearly display information that highlight the rights of an individual who does not have identification or documentation when trying to access primary care.
  • East Riding of Yorkshire Council ensure that the rights of homeless people to access primary care is included in the East Riding Homelessness Strategy.

Actions taken by East Riding of Yorkshire CCG
The CCG has:

Person holding a Healthwatch card

Person holding a Healthwatch card

For more information on Healthwatch East Riding, please click here. 

Alternatively you can contact HWERY by any of the following means:
Telephone: 01482 334 999
Office: 01482 665 684