Summary of report content
Healthwatch Nottingham and Nottinghamshire undertook research into homeless people’s experience of primary care to build on their existing insight on this subject. They spoke to 29 service users and 1 service provider across the county.
All people said they were registered with a GP. Some people had difficulties registering but these were overcome with support. The registration rate with respect to dentists was much lower at 44%, but it is not necessary to register to receive treatment at NHS dentists.
Whilst all the people who responded had seen a doctor in the last year, seven people had not seen a dentist in the last two years. We found similar barriers to accessing healthcare at doctors and dentists. The most common barrier to seeing a GP was anxiety and/or depression followed by feeling judged or stereotyped by healthcare practitioners, and fear of diagnosis . These were also the three most common responses with respect to the dentist.
There was a mix of experiences. Some experiences may be unique to homeless people or more likely to affect them. People felt judged or stereotyped by healthcare practitioners as a barrier in accessing their doctor or dentist. Several people told us that they did not feel listened to, and only about two-thirds agreed that they feel listened to at the GP. Further, of particular importance is that only a third agreed that they have enough time to discuss their health with their doctor, particularly mental health.
There were no recommendations.