The Partnership of East London Cooperatives (PELC) has partnered with Redbridge Clinical Commissioning Group to deliver a GP outreach service that provides health checks and treatment for homeless and rough sleepers.

The GPs will provide full health checks; discuss potential vaccinations and immunisations and prescribe medication which patients can collect on site.

In addition, GPs will give advice on how and where patients can register, and how they can access other services available to them, such as dentists and mental health support.

Furthermore, GPs can provide an educational service on self-care, focusing on early intervention and, ultimately, the prevention of ill health.

Every day, a GP from PELC will attend one of six outreach hubs across the worst affected areas in Barking, Havering and Redbridge. 

These hubs run for two and a half hours, in which a GP will see between one-12 homeless or rough sleeping patients.

This initiative is part of the new homelessness and rough sleeping strategy, agreed by Redbridge Council in March 2019, which aims to end street homelessness by 2022. 

The news follows PELC’s announcement that it won a contract to provide and manage four urgent treatment centres across the Barking Havering and Redbridge area.

Brian Jones, chief executive of PELC, commented: “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.”

He added: “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.”