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Edinburgh health project extended to sex workers

May 12 2011
Our services are helpful for difficult-to-reach patients, says GP

An Edinburgh medical practice that specialises in providing health services to homeless people is expanding its remit to include prostitutes.

Based in Cowgate, the Edinburgh Access Practice offers services including GP clinics, dental examinations, mental health care, chiropody, occupational therapy, clinical psychology and psychiatry, as well as bathing and a clothes exchange. The practice targets homeless people who would not otherwise have access to medical care.

The service is already offered to groups such as asylum-seekers and ex-prisoners, and will now also be available to sex workers.

One of the staff at the practice is Dr Digby Thomas, a GP, who explains that: “Sex workers are often unregistered or unwilling to go to the doctor for a number of reasons. We have to start by listening to their issues and forming professional relationships with them.

“That’s why our services are helpful for difficult-to-reach patients.”