Frequently Asked Questions

Can a service user register with a Compass Health GP?

Generally no. This service is designed to enable homeless or vulnerably housed people access healthcare until they are able to move on to standard GP care, rather than being a long term option. Certain service users, who in the opinion of the team require specialist support, may be invited to register for full GP services for a period of time if required.

What happens if someone is homeless or vulnerably housed?

Compass Health provides health care and support for anyone who is homeless or vulnerably housed. We can help service users register with a local GP.

Do you give out prescriptions and sick notes?


Can you explain your prescribing policy?

Our doctors can prescribe for and treat a range of medical problems. Our nurse specialist can also prescribe in certain circumstances.

Can clients be referred on to a hospital specialist or for further investigations?


How do I refer a client to your service?

Compass Health provides drop in clinics at the Compass Centre on Jamaica St, and in a variety of different settings (check out our weekly schedule). Anyone can direct clients to this service, no referral is needed.SMART clients are often referred through the Outreach team but may also be referred by another Compass Health member of staff.Health link clients are referred through a number of agencies and also for those following hospital discharge. Feel free to call us on 0117 9892450 for more information.

Is all client information treated confidentially? When would you share personal information?

All our staff respect their client’s confidentiality. Sometimes we may need to request further information or share information with another professional or agency in order to enhance client care. If this is the case, we will seek verbal and signed consent from the client. The only reasons information can be shared without consent is when in the vital interests of an individual, where to not share might put someone in danger e.g. child protection, or if there is a legal reason to do so eg. a serious crime.

How can a client get a methadone prescription and support?

Our SMART programme (Supervised Methadone and Resettlement Team) offers an alternative prescribing service for a small group of individuals with a history of homelessness. It is for people who may have found it hard to access or maintain treatment through GP shared care or BSDAS but wish to make a change in their drug using behaviour. We can also refer clients for prescribing through ROADS.

Does Compass Health provide testing for blood borne viruses such as HIV and hepatitis?

We can test for blood borne viruses including HIV, Hep B and C. We try to obtain a venous sample but can use dried blood spot testing as an alternative for clients who have poor veins.

We offer immunisation against Hepatitis A and B, give tetanus boosters and give seasonal flu jabs.

How can Compass Health support alcohol dependent clients?

We offer skilled experience and understanding to people with alcohol related issues. Help includes: advice and support. Medical investigations and treatment of troublesome symptoms. Vitamin supplements (Many problems associated with drinking can be caused by severe vitamin deficiencies). Help with referral to detox for anyone ready to stop drinking. Information about other alcohol support agencies that can help.

How do you deal with the problem of dual prescribing? (patients who may try to obtain medication from more than one GP)

If patients are not registered with us we will not prescribe potentially addictive drugs until we have liaised with their registered GP or drugs organisation

Do you provide sexual health and contraceptive services?

We offer screening for sexually transmitted infections for both sexes. We also provide a contraceptive service and opportunistic smears for women.