Our mystery shopping exercise was carried out to see how easy it is for people to register at a GP surgery in the area, including those that may not have proof of address.
Homeless people, those displaced by the pandemic, refugees and asylum seekers or even those that simply don't have access to identifying documentation for varying reasons are supposed to be able to register for a GP service. However, we found that this was often not the case.
Over half of the GP practices initially said that some form of ID is required to register with the GP practice. In general GP surgeries asked to see for a proof of address, passport, birth certificate, driving license, bus pass, prescription form etc.
Practices can have a policy in place to ask patients to provide identification, but they cannot insist on seeing it to register them.
We also found out what advice was given out regarding vaccinations,
We made four recommendations to the GP surgeries for them to implement to ensure they are giving the access required to all patients, including those vulnerable groups that may not have the ability to produce ID.