Health help for homeless community in Richmond


This article was featured in NHS SW London CCG

A special event for the homeless community and refugees took place last week at the Exchange in Twickenham.
Health checks, tests, and advice were available, as well as an offer of COVID-19 and flu vaccinations, with 55 doses administered on the day

Lateral flow tests and essentials kits, donated by local businesses, were handed out, a hot breakfast and lunch were on offer and travel was reimbursed to make sure that people could attend.

Sixty four people attended the event, which was held in collaboration with the local NHS, Richmond Council, SPEAR, Richmond Community Healthcare Trust and Richmond Healthwatch, it was held on 24 November at the Exchange in Twickenham.

Dr Patrick Gibson, GP lead for Richmond, said: “It is fantastic to see so many organisations working together for the benefit of groups in our local community who are less able to access health and social care in the normal ways.
“The range of services that have come together in one room is really impressive and will hopefully go a long way to further establish relationships and trust with these communities.”

Shannon Katiyo, Director of Public Health at Richmond Council, said: “I think this event was fantastic. It is really good to see health, local authority, and voluntary sectors collaborating, particularly on homelessness and health.
“It is important to remember that issues faced by people experiencing homelessness are very interlinked and can result in health inequalities or unfair differences in outcomes.  We are committed to improving outcomes for them, and partnership is key in tackling the complex issues.”

Giuseppina Donadio, Homeless Health Link Team Leader at SPEAR, a charity which supports anyone facing or experiencing homelessness to quickly move into secure accommodation and get effective support, added: “We want to address health inequalities and this event was a real success in that area. Clients who have refused the vaccine before have had one today after having a chance to talk to health professionals here. It’s great to be working with other agencies towards the same goals.”

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South West London CCG

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