Hackney’s GP practice for homeless patients – The Greenhouse (AT Medics) – has been rated Outstanding overall by the Care Quality Commission.
In addition to easy registration and same day appointments The Greenhouse provides full health assessments, TB screening, a needle collection service, housing advice, welfare and benefits support as well as links to other support services.
Forty percent of its 1,000 patients are rough sleepers whilst 60% live in hostels or other temporary accommodation. Ninety-six percent of patients have at least one long-standing condition whilst 75% have three or more long standing conditions.
Dr Muneeb Choudhry, Clinical Director, said “The Greenhouse rating is particularly important due to the unique and specific care that we deliver to homeless people. The feedback from patients is indicative of the wonderful service our team deliver."
Professor Ursula Gallagher, CQC Deputy Chief Inspector of GP Practices, said: “The work done at The Greenhouse Practice is inspirational. Feedback from patients about their care was consistently positive and there was a strong, open and embedded culture at the practice.”
According to a report by Homeless Link, 41% of homeless people reported a long-term physical health problem compared to just 28% of the general population, whilst 45% had been diagnosed with a mental health problem compared with just 25% of the general public, and 35% do not eat at least two meals a day.
A 2016 report from the Healthy London Partnership, found that lack of responsiveness to the needs of homeless people in GP practices was a barrier to accessing care for this population, who often have complex conditions. Many homeless people don’t realise that they do not need a fixed address or identification to register or access treatment, at a GP practice.
City and Hackney CCG, who commission the service, was the top CCG in England for addressing health inequalities last year based on the NHS Assessment Framework.