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Relocating patients from a specialist homeless healthcare centre to general practices: a multi-perspective study.

Gibson Smith, Kathrine; Paudyal, Vibhu; MacLure, Katie; Forbes-McKay, Katrina; Buchanan, Carol; Wilson, Liz; MacLeod, Joan; Smith, Ann; Stewart, Derek


Kathrine Gibson Smith

Vibhu Paudyal

Katie MacLure

Carol Buchanan

Liz Wilson

Joan MacLeod

Ann Smith

Derek Stewart


Background: - The relocation of formerly homeless patients eligible to transfer from a specialist homeless healthcare centre (SHHC) to mainstream general practices is key to patient integration in the local community. Failure to transition patients conferring eligibility for relocation may also negatively impact on SHHC service delivery. Aim: - To explore barriers and facilitators of relocation from the perspectives of formerly homeless patients and healthcare staff involved in their care. Design and setting: - Qualitative semi-structured face-to-face and telephone interviews conducted in the north east of Scotland. Method: - Participants were patients and healthcare staff including GPs, nurses, substance misuse workers, administrative, and local community pharmacy staff recruited from one SHHC, two mainstream general practices, and four community pharmacies. Interview schedules based on the 14 domains of the Theoretical Domains Framework (TDF) were drafted. Transcripts of the interviews were analysed by two independent researchers using a framework approach. Results: - Seventeen patients and 19 staff participated. Key barriers and facilitators aligned to TDF domains included: beliefs about consequences regarding relocation; patient intention to relocate; environmental context and resources in relation to the care of the patients and assessing patient eligibility; patient skills in relation to integration; social and professional role and identity of staff and patients; and emotional attachment to the SHHC. Conclusion: - Implementation of services, which promote relocation and integration, may optimise patient relocation from SHHCs to mainstream general practices. These include peer support networks for patients, better information provision on the relocation process, and supporting patients in the journey of identifying and adjusting to mainstream practices.


GIBSON SMITH, K., PAUDYAL, V., MACLURE, K., FORBES-MCKAY, K., BUCHANAN, C., WILSON, L., MACLEOD, J., SMITH, A. and STEWART, D. 2018. Relocating patients from a specialist homeless healthcare centre to general practices: a multi-perspective study. British journal of general practice [online], 68(667), pages e105-e113. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 16, 2017
Online Publication Date Jan 25, 2018
Publication Date Feb 28, 2018
Deposit Date Jan 29, 2018
Publicly Available Date Jan 26, 2019
Journal British journal of general practice
Print ISSN 0960-1643
Electronic ISSN 1478-5242
Publisher Royal College of General Practitioners
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 68
Issue 667
Pages e105-e113
Keywords Delivery of health care; General practice; Homeless persons; Primary health care; Theoretical Domains Framework
Public URL


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