NHS England guidance is clear: anyone can register at a GP practice, regardless of immigration status. However, DOTW UK data from 2015 show 94% of people attending the clinic had experienced difficulties accessing healthcare.
When DOTW UK volunteers approached GP practices, 2 in 5 wrongly refused them.
Many practices require ID and/or proof of address to register. However, NHS England is clear that there is no requirement on patients to produce identity or residence information, and 'if a patient cannot produce any supportive documentation but states that they reside within the practice boundary then practices should accept the registration'.
Lack of address or ID is often a sign that a person is in a vulnerable situation. Refusing registration makes a bad situation worse for someone who has nowhere to turn.
Registration policies should state that those without proof of address, ID or immigration status will not be refused registration, and outline how support staff should register those without this documentation. See the 'how to' for further tips.
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