Helping hands for the health of the homeless

The homeless community are being offered healthcare and support during the Coronavirus outbreak by Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust and their partner agencies.

Over a hundred homeless people across Central Lancashire have been identified as needing support during this period. In response, a healthcare assessment and treatment service has been set up, operating across a number of locations in the region.

The clinics provide a triage service to identify healthcare needs, undertake medical treatment if required, deliver substance misuse services and offer mental health support.

Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust are working alongside Preston, Chorley and South Ribble Borough Council, Lancashire County Council, the Inspire Substance Misuse Service, Probation Services, Mental Health Services and The Foxton Centre, to form a new multi-disciplinary team.

An integrated effort has enabled this approach to be put into place quickly in response to the recent Government mandate to ensure support is provided for the homeless.

Philip Gooden, Strategic Lead – Integrated Community Wellbeing for Lancashire & South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust said:

“It’s great to see all the different teams and agencies come together to ensure those in need receive the vital support they need at this challenging time.

We’ve reacted swiftly to the situation and developed new best practice which will improve healthcare outcomes for the homeless both now and in the future.”

Mandy Stitt, Foxton Centre/Preston County Council Rough Sleeper Coordinator, based at The Foxton Centre which supports homeless people to return to independent living, added:

“It’s great to see that rough sleepers are receiving access to this much needed support. Some have very complex needs, and the commitment shown by the various agencies to put the right help in place quickly and carry this forward is really exciting.”

Councillor Matthew Brown, Leader at Preston City Council, also said:

“We’re proud to be part of this multi-agency approach in helping and supporting the homeless and most vulnerable in our area. Many of the people we help have complex needs but the triage service and accommodation provision will hopefully help, not just now, but also in the future.”

Foxton Centre, staff socially distancingLSCFT, male member of staff