How to Register a Homeless Person with Urban Village Medical Practice
In order to make registration as accessible as possible, one of our case managers Rachel Brennan will undertake assessments for registration at a range of flexible locations including day centres in the city. Please contact Rachel on 0161 272 5652 or 07847 476402 if you want to discuss a possible registration
Our 'publications and information' section has an up to date timetable of the specialist clinics and sessions available for homeless people at the Practice.
Urban Village Medical Practice provides full registration at the practice for people who are homeless until they find settled accommodation. People will be deemed to be homeless if they meet the following criteria;
Person reports at least one of the following:
ü sleeping rough/sofa surfing in Manchester city centre
ü staying in another ‘accepted’ address in the Manchester city area
The practice does not ask for evidence of living circumstances or for ID in order for a patient to be registered.
However, the service does not offer patients ‘immediate’ registration - we will undertake an initial assessment of the health and social circumstances of the prospective patient in order to;
a) determine whether registration at the practice is in the best interest of the patient, and
b) to formulate an initial health plan where this is the case.
This will not preclude patients from getting registered and accessing primary healthcare quickly where this is required, and the process is usually completed within 3-5 days, which is in line with timescales for registrations to the practice as a whole.
a) Determining whether registration at the practice is in the best interest of the patient
This is based on a number of considerations including;
If someone has very recently arrived in the city from another country or area of the UK, we would not normally register them immediately but wait and see if they stay in the city and engage with services. As a general rule we would wait until someone has stayed in the city 2 weeks before we register them, unless there are medical reasons why this would not be appropriate and registration will take place sooner.
Homeless services funding is being reduced, alongside an expectation that homelessness will increase and this puts an additional pressure on all services. Homeless services have stated that they will be proactive in supporting people to return to their original country/area where Manchester does not have a duty to house them. This service wants to avoid providing a reason for people to stay in the area by offering permanent registration where this is the case.
If the person spends most of their time outside of the city centre and accesses services outside of this area then we would not normally register them. Instead we would advise them to access a GP local to where they spent most of their time. We can also offer advice and support to the person and agencies working with them about getting a local GP where this proves difficult.
NB The practice accepts patients who are living in temporary accommodation at accepted addresses. Contact the Homeless Service for an up to date list of these.
If the person is currently seeking asylum, they will be housed in NASS accommodation and will therefore be at a relatively settled address – we would not therefore expect to register them unless they are resident within our practice boundaries.
If a person is a failed asylum seeker they are no longer entitled to accommodation and therefore become ‘homeless’. The decision whether to register a failed asylum seeker will be based on the previous bullet points.
If the patient is already registered with another GP that is easy to get to from the city centre, or where the person is staying, we would not advocate that they change GP, although the patient does have a choice to do so if they wish and the above points have been considered.
b) Formulating an initial health plan where patient is to be registered
Health problems that people who are homeless suffer are aggravated by their transient lifestyle, and they experience relatively poor health outcomes as a result. There is a high incidence of mental health and substance misuse amongst the homeless population and accessing treatment for these issues can often ‘hide’ other health issues that require treatment. At urban village medical practice it is our vision that everyone who is homeless in Manchester and registered with our practice is able to make informed choices about accessing the full range of primary health care offered by the practice during their period of homelessness.
In order to achieve this, when we first come into contact with a person wishing to register we undertake an initial assessment of their health and social circumstances in order to begin to develop an initial health plan, which will be developed in conjunction with the full multi disciplinary team working out of the practice.
In order to be as effective as possible in ensuring the patient has access to the full range of primary health care, we request a patient summary from their previous GP and information about substance misuse treatment and mental health issues where this is indicated in order to present as full a picture as possible to the MDT to inform initial treatment and health care promotion.