Entete 3

A general practice street health service

By Tom Brett
This qualitative study [1] explores patient and allied health staff perspectives of a street-based, primary health service with the aim of identifying factors that influence patient access and management.
It is a useful companion paper to our recent 10-year retrospective cohort study [2] of multimorbidity among marginalised patients attending the Freo Street Doctor service.
Key themes emerging from the research included better doctor-patient empathy, better understanding of patient circumstances, fostering of social capital and facilitating referral pathways to health and social services.
The researchers noted that the provision of services for homeless and marginalised patients can be challenging for mainstream general practices.
Our findings show that patients attending the Freo Street Doctor service appreciate the open access nature of the clinic, the focus on psycho-social as well as medical needs and the empathy and understanding shown by the GPs, nurses and outreach services who deliver the service. The preparedness of the street health service providers to meet the altered needs of marginalised patients in their own backyard is a key factor in engagement.
Mainstream primary health care services would do well to recognise and adopt strategies that recognise the special needs and social circumstances of these patients.
1.       Strange C,   Fisher C, Chan She Ping-Delfos W, Arnold-Reed D, Brett T.  A general practice street health service – patient and allied service provider perspectives. AJGP. 2018. 47 (1-2): 44-48.
2.       Arnold-Reed D, Troeung L, Brett T,  Chan She Ping-Delfos W, Geelhoed E, Fisher C, Preen D. Increasing multimorbidity in an Australian street health service – a 10-year retrospective cohort study,. AJGP. 2018; 47 (4): 181-189.

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