AT Medics added The Greenhouse to its portfolio of practices today, Friday 1st April 2016.

The Greenhouse provides NHS primary care services, as well as housing and welfare advice delivered by Thames Reach, for homeless people in Hackney. AT Medics will be working closely with Thames Reach to provide a welcoming environment to socially excluded men and women sleeping rough, who may have a drug or alcohol problem, poor mental health, or who are simply struggling to keep a roof over their head. Research into homelessness and health shows that health outcomes can be greatly improved when housing and health are jointly commissioned1.

Homeless people are often refused access to or excluded from GP surgery registration due to lack of identification or a fixed abode within a surgery’s catchment, and very often due to an inability to maintain communications which leads to missed appointments and consequently, exclusion and presenting at hospital emergency departments. AT Medics is committed to reducing inequalities in primary care, and to providing better access and improved health outcomes for all patients, helping to alleviate unnecessary pressure and costs for unscheduled care.

In addition to easy GP registration, the services delivered at The Greenhouse will provide a way to engage with socially-excluded individuals including full health assessments, TB screening, a needle collection service, housing advice, welfare and benefits support, and links to other support services.

According to a report by Homeless Link, 41% of homeless people reported a long-term physical health problem compared to just 28% of the general population, whilst 45% had been diagnosed with a mental health problem compared with just 25% of the general public, and 35% do not eat at least two meals a day2.

AT Medics will be tackling these issues head on, with better continuity of patient care and working closely with other local health providers to develop existing and new services based on a better understanding of patient needs. They will also improve cooperation with local community organisations and will engage patients with better health promotion and self-care education.

Dr Muneeb Choudhry, AT Medics GP Director commented, “We certainly have been presented with challenges at The Greenhouse, though we welcome them and are committed to delivering a high-quality patient care standard – this is what every patient deserves, and it is the foundation of our organisational ethos.

We also manage the nearby Trowbridge Surgery in Hackney, where we have achieved a huge reputational shift since we began managing in 2006, and we are well known for safeguarding the vulnerable, so we are very well placed and experienced to work with and improve the health outcomes for patients at The Greenhouse.

Our extensive experience in Primary Care has included working in some of the most deprived areas in London and increasing access and provision successfully. We have also worked in difficult, poorly performing practices and have rapidly improved performance and efficiency, as well as developing and retaining a steady team, and we will be utilising this experience to ensure a holistic development of better patient care throughout our practice team at The Greenhouse.”

It is with great pleasure that AT Medics has accepted an 18 month caretaker contract to manage The Greenhouse.