Housing application guidance

  • Template letters

GPs receive frequent requests for medical letters and reports in support of housing applications, which are not contractual activity.

Requests for medical letters and reports in support of housing applications come from a variety of sources – local authorities, housing associations, directly from patients and from patients via Citizens Advice.

The following notes are intended to help you deal with such requests: 

  • You are NOT contractually obliged 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 forms part of this guidance. In addition, you may wish to offer the patient the model letter in this guidance to give to the Housing Department, housing association, Citizens Advice or other agency which might have suggested or implied that the patient approach the GP direct. 
  • Information in support of an application based on health grounds should be supplied by the applicant using a form provided by the Housing Department (self-assessment). This should not require any input from the GP or practice. 
  • Only if additional information is required, does the Housing Department Medical Officer need to 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, e.g.:
    • the diagnosis;
    • severity of the illness;
    • medication;
    •  likely effect of appropriate rehousing.
  • When the Housing Department requests a report, you should receive a fee under collaborative arrangements.