Homeless people experience some of the poorest health in our communities. Without good health, it can be hard to leave homelessness behind. Improving the health of people who are homeless is central to reducing health inequalities and achieving the goal of ending homelessness.
Because of their higher levels of need, homeless people use acute health services disproportionately to the general population. Healthcare for Single Homeless people, by the DH, estimated that this group uses hospital services at a rate 4 to 8 times greater than the general population.
Many organisations support homeless people to access health services and manage their health problems. However, further action is required to improve suitability, access and take up of health services. This includes:
To find out more about what we think needs to happen, download Helping homeless people regain their health: our vision for a better NHS.
Whether you are a commissioner, homelessness agency or other service working in the health or homelessness field, there are steps to take. Visit our new Health Influencing Page which outlines how you can inform better services in your local area.