Do London GP practice websites adhere to guidelines on documentation required for registration? A mixed-methods cross-sectional study

Hodson, Nathan, Cooper, Maxwell and Ford, Elizabeth (2019) Do London GP practice websites adhere to guidelines on documentation required for registration? A mixed-methods cross-sectional study. British Journal of General Practice. ISSN 0960-1643 (Accepted)

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Abstract

BACKGROUND The most common obstacle to registration with a GP practice in the UK is difficulty presenting proof of address. NHS guidelines stipulate that inability to provide ID or proof of address are not reasonable grounds to refuse registration. Practices may ask patients to present ID/proof of address, but need a policy in case patients cannot.

AIM To find out how many London GP practice websites ask for documentation without a policy for where this cannot be provided and compare how GP practice websites describe the registration process in patient-facing material.

DESIGN & SETTING Cross-sectional study of practices from 10 London boroughs (n=100).

METHODS A proforma was piloted and then implemented, recording whether practices ‘demanded’, ‘requested’, or ‘mentioned’ photo ID or proof of address and whether there was a plan for patients without documentation. Text relating to documentation from all 100 practices for registration was subjected to thematic analysis.

RESULTS 75% of practices asked for documentation. The majority of these were ‘demanded’. 12% of websites included a plan for people without documentation. 5 themes emerged from analysis of website content: 1) reassuring people without documentation, 2) diverse requirements between practices, 3) conflating administration and treatment, 4) withholding treatment, 5) immigration and ethnicity.

CONCLUSION Practice websites breached NHS Standard Operating Principles and possibly the Equalities Act. Practices should create a clear policy for patients who do not have photo ID/proof of address (for example, including a named receptionist), and update websites accordingly.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Primary care, access to care, equality, GP Websites
Schools and Departments: Brighton and Sussex Medical School > Primary Care and Public Health
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0001 Medicine and the state. Including medical statistics, medical economics, provisions for medical care, medical sociology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0001 Medicine and the state. Including medical statistics, medical economics, provisions for medical care, medical sociology > RA0411 Provisions for personal medical care. Medical care plans
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0001 Medicine and the state. Including medical statistics, medical economics, provisions for medical care, medical sociology > RA0411 Provisions for personal medical care. Medical care plans
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0001 Medicine and the state. Including medical statistics, medical economics, provisions for medical care, medical sociology > RA0418 Medicine and society. Social medicine. Medical sociology
Depositing User: Elizabeth Ford
Date Deposited: 20 May 2019 08:37
Last Modified: 17 Sep 2019 08:30
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/83778

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