Last year, we did a report on how well GP practices followed guidelines on registering patients with no fixed address. Have they improved since?
We found that 80% of practices gave a helpful response when we asked about registering without an address. However, many gave the wrong information, and said that people needed some identification to register. According to NHS England:
NHS guidelines say that GP services cannot refuse to register someone because they are homeless, do not have proof of address or identification, or because of their immigration status.
We recommended that:
- the CCG and GP Federations use their communications routes to raise awareness of this issue and help to ensure a consistent approach
- practice websites include a link to the NHS Choices webpage that gives information about how to register for a homeless patient (as well as other groups such as asylum seekers, refugees and for the gypsy, traveller and Roma communities)
- practices ensure staff are familiar with this guidance
Read our report to find out what’s changed in local practices.