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