Posted by: John Brace | 12th November 2018

What were the 4 recommendations made in a report into problems homeless people on the Wirral have accessing health and social care services?

What were the 4 recommendations made in a report into problems homeless people on the Wirral have accessing health and social care services?

                                             

 Bus Stop (Bidston Village Road, Eleanor Road) to Arrowe Park Hospital (8th November 2018) - bus fares were one of the barriers homeless people faced in accessing healthcare services

Bus Stop (Bidston Village Road, Eleanor Road) to Arrowe Park Hospital (8th November 2018) – bus fares were one of the barriers homeless people faced in accessing healthcare services

A report titled Health Without a Home written by Leah Ragan with the help of Healthwatch Wirral looked at the problems homeless people on the Wirral have in accessing healthcare and social care services.

The fieldwork for the report was done at the Charles Thompson’s Mission (who provide services for the homeless) in Birkenhead. One of the insights in the report was that homeless people with complex health needs had problems accessing local healthcare services. Two themes emerged from the report which were service access and availability (such as not being able to afford the bus fare to and from appointments far away) and relationships (such as a poor staff attitude towards homeless people).

A number of homeless people in the study used the Walk-In Centres (referred to as Walk-In Clinics) which the Wirral CCG is currently consulting on closing.

In the report it was pointed out by one person that works supporting homeless people in both Wirral and Liverpool, that health and social care services in Liverpool were “better suited to homeless individual’s needs”.

The “abrupt and judgemental attitudes” of some public sector staff were given as a reason why some homeless people were put off from using local services.

Four recommendations were made at the end of the report, which I’ve summarised below:

1) Health and social care services in the area should use questionnaires with those using their services to find out how services can be improved and that those using them are receiving a service that meets their needs,

2) Night shelters should extend their opening hours in the evening,

3) Local authorities (such as Wirral Council) should take into account travel when planning services so that health and social care services are within walking distance and also consider refunding the travel costs of service users,

and

4) Further training for healthcare and social care staff so that the staff operate a non judgemental attitude towards those using those services who are homeless.

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