Mystery Shopping Report - GP registration for people without a fixed address

Earlier this year, our Healthwatch Sutton Mystery Shoppers contacted GP surgeries across the London Borough of Sutton, to find out whether it would be possible for a person without a fixed address to register with their local GP.

Standards for registering people who are homeless or without a fixed address

NHS England states:

  • You do not need to provide ID or proof of address when registering with a GP, but it is helpful to do so. 
  • You cannot be refused registration because you are homeless, do not have proof of address, identification, or because of your immigration status. 
  • Where necessary, the practice can use its address to register the patient.  

Our Findings

Of the 23 surgeries contacted:

  • 18 said that it would be possible to register without a fixed address.
  • 4 said that it would not be possible to register without a fixed address.
  • 1 said that the individual would be able to have an appointment but not register.

Our recommendations

  • Remind GP surgeries of people who are homeless' rights of access and NHS England Guidance 
  • Investigate potential to discuss access issues directly with people who do not have a fixed address. 
  • Improve information available to people who are homeless about their right to access GP services.

Downloads

If you need this report in a different format, please email info@healthwatchsutton.org.uk or call 020 8641 9540. 

Mystery Shopping Report - GP registration for people without a fixed address

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