Perspectives of homeless individuals on the provision and accessibility of primary healthcare services: A qualitative study
PHE ePoster Library. Saunders K. Sep 12, 2019; 274355; 161
Karen Saunders
Karen Saunders
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Abstract
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Abstract Background
Anecdotal reports of homeless people being denied access and facing negative experiences of primary healthcare have often come to light. However, there is a dearth of research exploring homeless people's views and experiences of such services.This study aims to explore the perspectives of homeless individuals on the provision and accessibility of primary healthcare services.
Method
A qualitative study with homeless people recruited from three homeless shelters and a specialist primary healthcare centre for the homeless in West Midlands of England. Semi-structured interviews were audio recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using a thematic framework approach. Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) was used to map the identified barriers in framework analysis.
Results
A total of 22 homeless were recruited. While some participants described facing no barriers, accounts of being denied registration at general practices and being discharged from hospital on to the streets with no access or referral to primary care providers were described. Services around substance misuse and mental health were deemed to be excluding those with the greatest need. Participants described committing crimes with the intention of going to prison to access healthcare. High satisfaction was expressed by participants about their experiences at the specialist centre.
Conclusions
The homeless participants of this study perceived inequality in access and mostly faced negative experiences in their use of mainstream services. Changes are imperative to facilitate access to primary healthcare, improve patient experiences of mainstream services and to share best practices identified by participants at the specialist centre. External funding details Not applicable
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