No Fixed Abode

Access to Health for those with no fixed abode

During 2016 and 2017 Healthwatch England along with several other local Healthwatch carried out pieces of work looking at how those with no fixed abode accessed health services. The findings from the majority of these reports showed that those with no fixed abode struggled to register with a GP as many requested proof of address or ID when registering.

Based on the contacts to Healthwatch Hull along with national Healthwatch findings and the increase in number of people recorded as homeless the decision was taken to carry out a review into access to healthcare for those with no fixed abode in Hull in order to highlight what is working well and make recommendations for how things can be improved.

In order to do this, we made contact with organisations providing support for those with no fixed abode. We distributed surveys to these organisations and visited hostel provision in the area as well as accompanying the Emmaus Homeless Outreach Team to speak with those people who are street homeless.

The no fixed abode survey received 13 responses in total along with a number of narrative e-mails and meetings providing detailed examples of patient’s experience of accessing healthcare whilst having no fixed abode. Although this is a small sample size, it is important to note that it is approximately 14% of the street homeless population and 3% of the people living in hostels who have responded. In addition to this we also collated staff experiences of supporting people to access health services. In total we spoke to 85 people about the project and their experiences.

This report will be published at the end of May

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