PELC introduces GP service for the homeless

Homeless lady staying warm
© iStock/Motortion

The Partnership of East London Cooperatives (PELC) is working with Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group to provide a GP outreach service that offers health checks and treatment for the homeless and rough sleepers.

The Partnership of East London Cooperatives (PELC) is a not-for-profit social enterprise delivering NHS integrated urgent care services to more than two million people across East London and West Essex.

How the outreach service works

A GP from the PELC will attend one of six outreach hubs across the worst affected areas in Barking, Havering and Redbridge every day. The service will be available for two and a half hours, in which the GP can see between one and twelve homeless patients.

During the sessions, the GP will provide full health checks, offer advice on potential vaccinations and immunisations and prescribe medicine which the patients can collect there and then. The GP can also offer additional advice on how and where patients can register and gain access to other services such as dentists and mental health support. The visiting GP will be able to provide an additional service on self-care which focuses on early intervention to prevent ill health further down the line.

Brian Jones, Chief Executive of PELC, said: “Homeless and rough sleepers are some of the most vulnerable among us. Due to the problems many face day-to-day, health or self-care may not appear to be an important concern – and some may not even be aware of the services available to them, so we are bringing it to them.

“The outreach hubs ensure that there is somewhere available every day where a GP can provide check-ups, advice and medication. Like all our services, we pride ourselves on personalised patient care, integrated services regarding information and innovative approaches to use social prescribing to help address individual needs.”

The outreach programme sits alongside the new homelessness and rough sleeping strategy, agreed by Redbridge Council in March 2019, which aims to end street homelessness by 2022. This follows PELC’s announcement that they have won a contract to manage four Urgent Treatment Centres across the Barking Havering and Redbridge area.


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