Cut loose - An investigation into the effect of deregistration of homeless people from GP Practices

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Manchester launched a survey aimed at providing a voice for those homeless people who had been deregistered from a GP practice, as homelessness is increasing in Greater Manchester. 

Two in five respondents stated that they used a walk-in centre or an A&E department as a stopgap measure to deal with their existing health conditions. One respondent, 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 several occasions.

Two in five homeless people did not know where to go for help with registering with another GP practice once they had been deregistered. Some also reported that they did not receive any notice of their deregistration.

There is also a lack of a clear and understood process that GP practices must go through in order to deregister a patient. One respondent reported that, despite their experience having happened a few years ago, it took them by “surprise” to learn that they could even offer feedback. Several respondents were unhappy about the reasons given to justify their deregistration and were clearly frustrated by the process, particularly by the lack of notice. Ensuring that the deregistration process is clear, fair and transparent should be viewed as an important concern to address.

The report includes seven recommendations about deregistration and access to healthcare for homeless people.

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General details

Report title 
Cut loose - An investigation into the effect of deregistration of homeless people from GP Practices
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Manchester
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 9 June, 2021
Key themes 
Access
Administration
Communication between staff and patients
Health inequalities
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff attitudes
Staff training

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
Primary research method used 
Survey
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 
N/A

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
GP practice
Urgent and emergency care services 
Accident & emergency
Urgent care services

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Not known
Age group 
Not known
Gender 
Not known
Ethnicity 
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Other population characteristics 
Homeless people
Does the information include public's views? 
Yes
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
No
Does the information include staff's views? 
No
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Mixed

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Yes
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
No
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
No
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
 
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
 
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.