Back to news


GP services for rough sleepers in Lewisham

 

During the formal consultation on the future of the NHS Walk-in Centre and improving provision and access to primary care, concerns were raised about homeless people in Deptford and New Cross. Through our Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) we identified that there could be a gap in services for rough sleepers in Deptford and New Cross accessing GP services. In response to the concerns raised and the gap identified we worked with rough sleepers and homeless charities to co-produce a pilot service. Co-production is an approach that ensures both people delivering and planning services and those using them are equal partners in the design, delivery and review of services. It recognises that all parties have vital contributions to make to improve the quality of life for people and communities.

 

In partnership with Lewisham Council, we organised a multi-agency Homeless Summit on 18 October 2017 for local partners and agencies. We committed to working with local GP practices located in the Waldron Health Centre to develop an additional service for rough sleepers in Deptford and New Cross.

 

A key requirement for the CCG from the Homeless Summit was to consider the barriers to accessing primary care services for people who are rough sleepers that would be used in the development of any additional provision or services. We held a number of workshops with key stakeholders. We undertook wide engagement with potential service users to develop a pilot service for rough sleepers.

 

We have now commissioned the pilot service which operates two weekly drop-in clinics offering six hours of primary care provision to rough sleepers in Lewisham aged 18 years and over. One clinic operates from a local GP practice and the other is delivered as an outreach clinic located at one of the local homeless charities. The pilot will operate for 18 months and there will be an independent evaluation which will include feedback from users and local stakeholders.

 

Read more about our how we developed our Rough Sleepers pilot.