Friends Families and Travellers report: No room at the inn

Regulation of GP practices around primary care for those with no address or identification ‘urgently requires a new and more effective approach’.

This is from an April 2019 report (pdf) by Friends Families and Travellers that used ‘mystery shopping’ to explore issues with accessing primary care often reported by their service users.

NHS operating principles state that ‘there is no regulatory requirement to prove identity, address, immigration status or the provision of an NHS number in order to register’. However, this report found almost half of practices contacted would not register their ‘mystery shopper’ without fixed address or proof of identity.

Despite this, every one of these practices was rated ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission for their work with ‘people whose circumstances may make them vulnerable’.

Practices were significantly more likely to refuse registration if they were in urban areas, or areas with large Gypsy and Traveller populations.

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