Requests for Personal Medical Information by Housing Associations
Who do I see?
Housing is closely related to health in many ways. Good housing is vital to good health and improvements in housing have certainly been one of the main causes of improvements in health in Northern Ireland.
However, limits on resources mean that there is almost always a waiting list for re- housing. It is obvious that there needs to be a system to give priority to re-housing those in greatest need. As part of this process an individual’s health status needs to be considered. This has led to frequent requests for medical information by Housing Associations from patients’ General Medical Practitioners.
Often patients themselves are perfectly able to provide a description of their medical problems and how these affect their housing needs. This has the advantage that the information is given to the housing organisation in lay terms which should be easily understood by the non-medical staff who assess their relative priority.
The routine request for a medical report for every individual who applies for housing simply adds to the ever increasing burden of paperwork which detracts from the time GPs can spend on their patients.
We therefore regret that we are unable to undertake this service.
However there is lots of useful information available from Housing Rights Northern Ireland. This website contains lots of guidance regarding housing issues and problems.