Cut loose - An investigation into the effect of deregistration of homeless people from GP PracticesDownload (PDF 927KB)
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.