Dr Pippa Medcalf

Elected councillor

Dr Pippa Medcalf is an elected member of Council at the Royal College of Physicians (RCP).

Pippa is a consultant physician in acute medicine at Gloucester Royal Hospital. She is the RCP lead fellow for health inequalities and inclusion health, and a PACES examiner.

Pippa leads nationally for the RCP in raising standards of secondary care for homeless people and locally has developed an in-reach team for homeless people in her own hospital.

In 2017, she received an Excellence in Patient Care Award for patient-centred care for her work on improving secondary care for homeless people.

This work involved employing a dedicated housing officer to work alongside a hospital physician which transformed the care of homeless patients in her hospital with over 84% of homeless patients now housed on discharge compared with 0% before the project started. This has saved money for the NHS and reduced lengths of stay for the patients. Housing is a huge part of improving health, and this project has helped to break a cycle of discharge and re-admittance into hospital.

Pippa has worked with the Faculty of Homeless and Inclusion Health to set standards of care for homeless people for secondary care to follow. This includes a CPD module to train physicians and a resource guide on inclusion health on the Medical Care website. The project and its aims have been widely publicised in national lectures and publications.

The need to do more has been acknowledged and there has been a realisation that secondary care doctors are ideally placed to make a real difference to homeless healthcare in a very easy and inexpensive way.

Pippa now aspires to roll this project out across all hospitals trusts so that no homeless person is ever discharged from hospital back to the streets and to inevitable poor health.