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, this is 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.
The project is being delivered across the districts in the following order:
- Warwick, Leamington, Kenilworth: Feb 2019- Apr 2019
- Stratford: May 2019 – July 2019
- Rugby: Aug 2019 – Oct 2019
- Nuneaton & Bedworth: Nov2019 – Jan 2020
- North Warwickshire: Feb 2020 – Apr 2020
Our information booklet explains the project in full: HWW RAP Booklet
We are running workshops for any community/voluntary/statutory organisation who supports anyone experiencing homelessness within Warwickshire on Rights to Access Primary Care and NHS guidelines. The workshop will provide you with information on the following:
- Brief introduction to Healthwatch Warwickshire
- Rights to access healthcare
- NHS Constitution
- GP duty of care
- NHS guidelines for GP registration
Alongside these workshops we will also be giving out booklets with useful information from the workshop and around Primary Care in order to help you/your organisation to support individuals and the plastic credit card size Rights cards for your organisation to give out to people you know who are experiencing homelessness to keep.
The next workshops will be in North Warwickshire, dates to be announced soon.
We are also offering organisations the opportunity to have a team workshop which we can deliver at your organisation or at a local venue. If this is of interest please contact us.
If you can’t make any of the above dates and would like information on additional dates or need more information please contact us on 01926 422 823 or email email@example.com.
If you are, or know, someone who is experiencing homelessness you can find local information/support at https://www.p3charity.org/