Ensure your practice is inclusive

MANY practice websites are still displaying messaging that excludes certain members of society from accessing GP services, according to a recent item in the NHS Primary Care Bulletin.

Practices are reminded that everyone is welcome in general practice and that patients do not need proof of ID, address, immigration status or an NHS number in order to receive care or see a GP.

Practices are asked to review their website and to include a statement that anyone can register for care. Concern over legal requirements can often be the reason why people do not attend a GP.

The article also encourages practices to promote Homelessness Training for GP Receptionists, as the first experience someone has in a GP practice is usually with a receptionist. Practices should also offer an initial health assessment for new registrants to identify vulnerability to Covid-19.

GP surgeries can join the Safe Surgeries initiative, which reassures people that immigration status will not be checked and that they are in a "safe space".