Homelessness is defined as not having a home. You are homeless if you have nowhere to stay and are living on the streets, but you can be homeless even if you have a roof over your head, these are known as hidden homelessness.
The Rights to Access Project was created by Healthwatch Warwickshire to help people who are experiencing homelessness to access healthcare when they need it.
The project was created as a result of the engagement work we did across the County talking to homeless agencies, homeless individuals, and from reports about homelessness within Warwickshire.
People told us they had been turned away from a GP surgery when they needed care/treatment. The reasons given were:
- Not being a registered patient
- Not having an address or identification
- Not being a UK resident
- Not having any appointments available at all
- Registration to join the practice declined with no reasons given
To help with this we have produced a plastic Rights to Access card with information for people to keep with them to help when accessing treatment within Primary Care.
We will also be running workshops for any community/voluntary organisation who supports anyone experiencing homelessness on rights to access Primary Care and NHS guidelines. Alongside these workshops we will also be giving out booklets with useful information in order to help support individuals.
The project will be delivered across Warwickshire over 18 months. We will work in each district for 3 months from February 2019 in order of greatest need, which was determined using Warwickshire County Council’s statistics on homelessness:
- Nuneaton and Bedworth
- North Warwickshire
We will keep this page updated with news and updates on the RAP:Homelessness Project.
To register your interest in attending a Rights to Access awareness workshop please call us on 01926 422 823 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are, or know, someone who is experiencing homelessness you can find local information/support at https://www.p3charity.org/