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.
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.
- 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.