We are delighted to be able to share with you our latest report 'Cut loose', which is focussed on the issue of deregistration of homeless people from GP practices.
People who are experiencing homelessness have a higher rate of physical and mental health conditions than the general population and many also suffer from drug and/or alcohol addictions. GPs play an important role in helping to address the medical needs of homeless people, but in recent years we have seen a significant increase in the number of homeless people who are turning to Accident & Emergency (A&E) departments in Manchester to receive treatment, which is placing an extra strain on an already-stretched service.
40% of the respondents to our study stated that they used a walk-in centre or an A&E department as a stopgap measure to deal with their existing health conditions following their deregistration. One of our respondents, who was suffering from mental health issues, reported as being deregistered twice from GP practices because they lived at 5 different addresses in Manchester within 6 months. During this period, they were sent to a walk-in centre on a number of occasions.
It is so important that homeless people have access to the health care services which they need and we hope that our report will shine a spotlight on the practice of deregistration.
Last year we conducted a survey with people who had been deregistered from a GP practice and we are very pleased to be able to share with you the results and our findings.