Scunthorpe

Scunthorpe GP opens shower facilities for the homeless

A GP surgery in Scunthorpe has opened its shower facilities to help give “a little relief” to homeless people in the town.

The Birches Medical Practice, which is located at The Ironstone Centre in West Street, started the initiative a few weeks ago by opening its shower facilities between 10am-12pm Monday to Friday.

The practice is working closely with nearby charity Crosby Community Association where the homeless can go for a hot drink and slice of cake and pick up new clothes to change into before going to the doctors surgery to freshen up.

The users of the service will be given shower gel to use, a clean towel, toothbrush and a new pair of socks to keep.

The shower facilities available to Scunthorpe’s homeless at the Ironstone Centre. Photo: NHS North Lincolnshire CCG

Practice Manager at The Birches Medical Practice Darryl Southern said: “We are of course aware there are quite a large number of people living homeless in Scunthorpe and we wanted to give them a little relief.

“It isn’t much but we thought those most deprived would really appreciate a hot shower, new pair of socks and basically just a little bit of comfort in their lives – especially as we enter the winter period when times can be even more difficult for them.

Darryl Southern, of Birches Medical Practice, with Adam Doncaster of Crosby Community Centre. Photo: NHS North Lincolnshire CCG

“We’ve been doing it a couple of weeks and only a small number have attended so far. But of course we’re hoping word gets out and we can offer more comfort to more people. The feedback we have had so far has been incredibly positive and that’s nice to hear.”

People, who are not registered with a doctor are encouraged to do so at the practice, giving them somewhere nearby to seek medical advice.

Darryl Southern, of Birches Medical Practice, with Adam Doncaster and colleagues of Crosby Community Centre. Photo: NHS North Lincolnshire CCG

Director of Primary Care at North Lincolnshire Clinical Commissioning Group, Geoff Day, said: “This is heart-warming news – especially as we move into the cold winter period.

“To see a practice go above and beyond to help those less fortunate than others is great to see and as a CCG we would thank The Birches Medical Practice for thinking outside the box and taking this on.”