The health needs of people experiencing homelessness are likely to be chronic, multiple and complex. It can reduce their life expectancy by 30 years. Caught early, these health issues could be treated and monitored, leading to many other benefits.
Winter is a particularly challenging time for people sleeping rough, with cold temperatures causing ill-health and exacerbating existing health conditions.
Accessing healthcare is fraught with barriers, such as having no address to receive letters, no phone credit to make
appointments and no money to travel to appointments.
We received funding from the South West London Integrated Care System (SWL ICS) to deliver two Health and Wellbeing Days to people experiencing homelessness in Richmond and four in Wandsworth and Merton, as well as follow up one-to-one support.
The aim was to improve access and engagement with healthcare services over the winter months.
How we supported people
In Richmond, 2 drop-in days were held in community venues in April and May 2023.
We also delivered 2 drop-in days in Wandsworth and 2 drop-in days in Merton between January and March 2023.
In both boroughs, 25 health and wellbeing partners attended including the NHS, as well as a volunteer GP who specialises in mental health.
It’s well known that people experiencing homelessness face exclusion from society due to lack of digital access and
Getting online means access to useful support and services, such as healthcare.
We also received funding from South West London Integrated Care System’s Innovation Fund and HSBC to deliver a digital inclusion programme to people who have experienced homelessness. The aim of the project was to increase access to online healthcare services by providing people with equipment, skills, confidence and support.