OHL SAFE HUB
One Health Lewisham, in collaboration with Doctors of the World UK and the Lewisham Food banks, has developed ‘safe hubs’ to support both local communities and GP practices help the most vulnerable in society.
Update on registering patients with no proof of ID – February 2020
Following recent patient engagement events held across South East London, a number of patients have fed back that they have encountered problems registering with a GP practice because they did not have proof of ID.
Patients should not be refused registration or appointments because patients do not have a proof of address or personal identification at hand, and this is not considered a reasonable ground to refuse registration.
This also applies to asylum seekers, refugees, homeless patients or overseas visitors, whether lawfully in the UK or not.
Reasonable grounds to refuse patient registrations must not relate to race, gender, social class, age, religion, sexual orientation, appearance, disability or a medical condition.
Where practices do refuse registration, this should be provided in writing and when;
- Practices have no capacity to take on new patients (and only when there has been formal agreement with commissioners)
- Practices are not accepting patients that do not live within its practice boundary. Since January 2015 all GP practices in England have been free to register new patients who live outside their practice boundary area. But it’s for a practice to decide at the point of registration whether it’s clinically appropriate and practical to register individual patients in that way.
For further advice or information the GP Patient Registration Standard Operating Principles for Primary Medical Care (page 142 onwards).
Thank you and Kind Regards,
Dr Seema Pattni
GP Fellow for Community Development and Social Prescribing
Initially, there will be one ‘safe hub’ in each Primary Care Network (PCN) in Lewisham. These will:
- be drop off points and information about food banks
- have local information on community organisations which may support patients (and supports GPs with social prescribing).
- provide central access for certain patients to use as an address to register with a local GP
- provide central access for these patients to collect any correspondence from the GP or hospital
NB the patient will still be registered at their initial practice of their choice – the safe hub address should only be used where no suitable alternative can be found, to enable patients to register and access primary care.
Who can register using safe hub?
Anyone who says they are staying within the practice boundaries, who may not have proof of address or are fearful of sharing their address with your practice.
Please encourage and welcome patients to register at your practice. Some practices use their own address or a local community organisation to register patients without proof of address. The safe hub provides a possible address for patients to use should there be no alternative.
If someone wants to register at the GP practice using safe hub, please fill in the safe hub registration form and email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Any correspondence from the GP and / or hospital can then be sent to the safe hub address. The patient can pick this up, showing some form of ID, within practice opening hours (0800-1830 Monday to Friday). This post should not be opened by the safe hub practice.
However, any patient can access the community support information from the local safe hubs
Launch and future development
We will initially be launching the safe hub for practices in Sevenfields PCN before spreading to the rest of Lewisham.
There is close working key local partner organisations to continue to build on and improve social prescribing locally.
DOTW Safe Surgeries Resources
Social prescribing, posters and toolkit – click here
Online tool for migrant health from DOTW – click here
DOTW Poster (dates section blank) – click here
DOTW- click here
Foodbank Christmas Donation Poster – click here
Foodbank Donation Point Poster – click here
Food Bank Poster – click here
Food bank Poster alternative – click here
Food Bank Poster alternative – click here
Advice Lewisham Flyer – click here
Groundswell & HLP Card – click here
Groundswell and HLP Poster – click here
TableTalk Poster – click here
Online Resources List – click here
Athena gender based violence leaflet – click here