GP surgery opens its doors to homeless people in Manchester

  • Docs treat more than 700 homeless people a week
  • Free drop in session for those unable to register with a GP
  • Surgery offers help with addiction and other problems

A Manchester GP has opened up his surgery doors to treat the increasing number of homeless people in the region.

 Dr Gerry O’Shea works alongside his colleague Dr Shaun Jackson and six other doctors at the busy Urban Village medical practice in Ancoats providing care for the homeless as well as their normal patients.  

 Homeless people do not have access to a GP or medical care because they do not have a fixed address.

The surgery offers services to around 750 homeless patients throughout the week, which includes a weekly drop in clinic every Wednesday between 2.30pm-4.30pm.Homeless patients are able to access register for healthcare using the address of the practice.

“The ethos at our practice is one of inclusion,” said Dr O’Shea.

“It’s vital that homeless people know that they can and should register with a doctor. If a health problem is detected early it can be dealt with before it develops into something much more serious.”

As well as everyday day health problems, the practice also helps patients with addictions, social problems and even house-related paperwork. 

The pilot scheme known as MPath was started in 2013 with Manchester Royal infirmary (MRI) and was designed to help with the problems homeless people face being admitted to hospital, ensuring GP registration and follow-up on discharge.

MPath healthcare team has now treated with more than 458 homeless patients in the last 12 months who have been admitted to the MRI.

Dr Jackson said, “This integrated approach to healthcare has had some extremely positive results in both the health and living situations for our patients.”