In partnership with the NHS, Groundswell produced ‘My Right to Healthcare’ cards that are distributed to homeless shelters, day centres and food banks across London. These cards are given to homeless people who are sleeping rough, living in hostels, chronically insecurely housed or sleeping on the couches of friends or family.
One of the key barriers that homeless people face is registering to a GP practice and getting healthcare.
What most people don’t know is that when you register with a GP practice, you have the right to register and use all services in the practice without a fixed address, identification and immigration status does not matter.
“When you try to register with a doctor and they send you away because you are homeless you just end up stuck… Some of us have got mental health problems, some physical health problems and a lot of the time it might be those problems that have landed us in homelessness to begin with. When these problems aren’t going to get looked at because you don’t have an address then we are just going to be in a vicious cycle.”
Groundswell claims nearly a third of all deaths of homeless people are caused by easily treatable health conditions.
No one’s physical or mental health should suffer because of who they are or where they live. Everyone deserves equal access to healthcare.
We are so proud and excited to be a part of Groundswell’s initiative in helping shape London into a healthy city especially for vulnerable people. We will be slipping a "my right to healthcare" card into the socks that we give and we will also be handing out these cards to any local projects that we partner up with so that they can distribute these directly to the homeless people they help.
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