Call for funding to encourage young renters to register with a GP

London's top GP has backed calls for funding to encourage more young people in rented accommodation to register with a GP practice.

Londonwide LMCs chief executive Dr Michelle Drage (Photo: Londonwide LMCs)

Londonwide LMCs chief executive Dr Michelle Drage told GPonline: 'It is right that greater resource should go into encouraging young, mobile people to register with their GP, so they can access care close to home, from a clinician who has access to their records.'

The London GP chief pointed to Office for National Statistics figures showing that London has 'more people moving in and out per thousand residents than any other region of the UK'.

The comments from Dr Drage came after a debate in the House of Commons following health and social care secretary Matt Hancock's recent pledge to shift the NHS towards a stronger focus on prevention.

GP registration

Speaking in the House of Commons, Conservative MP for Putney Justine Greening told Mr Hancock: 'Communities such as my own have very many young people, who are often renting, do not necessarily stay very long and therefore do not register with a GP.

'Will he take that into account when he is looking at where investment in primary care flows to in the detailed strategy?'

The health and social care secretary said the issue of young patients failing to register with a local GP was 'incredibly important' point. He added: 'The way that money for primary care is allocated is being looked at right now, taking that and other things into account.'

Mobile population

Dr Drage added: 'London has a highly mobile and transient population, with GP practices serving areas with high numbers of rented properties, homes of multiple occupancy, student accommodation, and those with new high density housing developments either in-development, or planned.'

She added that traditional practices in London were able to manage patients throughout their lives, even as their health needs changed - suggesting that young patients should not be tempted to register with services that prioritise young, fit patients.

'GPs in London are adept at managing their practice resources and can adapt the services they offer to their practice lists, treating each patient as an individual, without the need to move patients between practices when their health care needs change,' Dr Drage said. 'However, there are significant workload pressures which must be addressed to allow all patients appropriate access to their chosen GP.'

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