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Housing Applications

GPs receive frequent requests for medical letters and reports in support of housing applications from a variety of sources - local authorities, housing associations, directly from patients and from patients via Citizens Advice Bureaux. Arrangements for seeking GP reports and for payment vary between Local Authorities, and even when clearly agreed are often not implemented by Local Authority staff.

The following notes are intended to clarify the position and help you deal with such requests.

  • You are NOT obliged by your Terms of Service to provide such reports to patients on demand.
  • When presented with a request for information directly from a patient, you may respond by referring the patient back to the Local Authority Housing Department.
  • A simple poster reinforcing this message is attached. In addition, you may wish to offer the patient a letter in the form attached to give to the Housing Department, Housing Association, CAB or other agency which might have suggested or implied that the patient approach the GP direct.
  • The applicant should supply information in support of an application based on health grounds using a form provided by the Housing Department (self-assessment). This should not require any input from the GP/practice.
  • Only if additional information is required, should the Housing Department Medical Officer obtain it from the applicant’s doctor, preferably using a standard form, provided the patient has given written consent. The Medical Officer should seek information which is only available to the GP, for example:
    • the diagnosis;
    • severity of the illness;
    • medication;
    • likely effect of appropriate re-housing.
  • When the Housing Department requests a report you should receive a fee.
  • Agreed fees under "collaborative arrangements" for medical reports to local authorities apply.
Updated on Wednesday, 28 February 2024, 2485 views

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