New project supporting the homeless to stay healthy

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Sleeping rough in Stratford-upon-Avon. Photo: Mark Williamson

Rough sleepers are being offered help to stay healthy over the winter months following the launch of a new service by Warwickshire County Council.

The physical health outreach project, delivered by the Out of Hospital team, will see two nurses recruited to work exclusively with people who are homeless and sleeping rough, using several Warwickshire hostels.

Funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Infrastructure was awarded to the project after a joint bid from Warwickshire District and Borough Councils and the South Warwickshire Foundation Trust.

Councillor Les Caborn, Portfolio Holder for Adult Social Care and Health said: “We’re delighted to be awarded this funding to develop a physical health outreach service for people who are homeless and find themselves sleeping rough in Warwickshire. We look forward to further developing our approach to tackling and preventing homelessness with our District and Borough colleagues, South Warwickshire Foundation Trust and wider partners. This project will compliment Warwickshire County Council’s mental health outreach service for people sleeping rough, delivered in collaboration with Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership Trust and P3.”

Anne Coyle, Managing Director of the Out of Hospital Collaborative said: “This is a wonderful example of strong partnership working to meet physical health needs of people sleeping rough in Warwickshire over the winter months. We are ready to launch this service in the New Year and Out of Hospital staff are looking forward to working with partners learning how together we better coordinate services, making positive steps as we work to improve access to services, for all’.

Physical health remains a big challenge for people who find themselves homeless or sleeping rough on our Warwickshire streets, due to their significant health inequalities.  The average age of death for homeless men in the UK is 44 and 42 for women, compared to 76 and 81 years in the general population.