A group of general practices in East London is to provide an outreach service giving health checks and treatment for the homeless and rough sleepers.
The practices belong to The Partnership of East London Cooperatives, a not-for-profit social enterprise delivering NHS urgent care across East London and West Essex.
One GP at a time from the group will attend an outreach hub each day in the worst affected areas – Barking, Havering and Redbridge. It will be open for two and a half hours, allowing appointments for up to 12 homeless or rough sleeping people, covering full health checks, advice on vaccinations and immunisations, and giving prescriptions.
This new outreach programme is part of a new homelessness and rough sleeping strategy put in place by Redbridge Council in March 2019. Overall it aims to end street homelessness by 2022.
Brian Jones, the chief executive of the Partnership of East London Cooperatives, said: “Homeless and rough sleepers are some of the most vulnerable among us. Due to the problems many face day-to-day, health or self-care may not appear to be an important concern – and some may not even be aware of the services available to them, so we are bringing it to them.
“The outreach hubs ensure that there is somewhere available every day where a GP can provide check-ups, advice and medication. Like all our services, we pride ourselves on personalised patient care, integrated services regarding information and innovative approaches to use social prescribing to help address individual needs.”