Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board signs up to homeless health charter
A commitment to understand the health needs of homeless people is at the heart of the St Mungo’s Broadway ‘Homeless Health Charter’ which Leeds health and care leaders have pledged to support.
Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board Chair Lisa Mulherin today signed up to support the aims of the charter, joined by John Walsh, from Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust (LCH) and a specialist in working with homeless people.
To highlight the poor health experienced by homeless people, St Mungo’s recently released a report, Homeless Health Matters: the case for change, which reveals that:
- 73% of homeless people have a physical health problem
- 80% of homeless people have a mental health problem
- The average age of people who die while homeless is 47, for women it is 43
- 42% of homeless people have attempted suicide and they are nine times more likely to commit suicide than the general population
- Many homeless people struggle to register with a GP, often due to not being able to provide a permanent address
Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Chair of Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board, said:
“I’m delighted the Leeds health and care community have been able to demonstrate our commitment to the health of homeless people in Leeds by signing this charter which recognises the work in the city through the Homeless Accommodation Leeds Pathway (HALP). We know the significant health challenges homeless people face and as part of our commitment to improve the health of the poorest fastest, we are working with organisations across the city to get better support for homeless people.”
Howard Sinclair, Chief Executive of St Mungo’s Broadway, said:
“Homelessness hurts. Homeless people have some of the highest levels of poor health within our society and we have launched this campaign to demand action to improve the health of some of the most vulnerable.
“We thank Leeds for signing our Charter and committing to include homeless people in their local health plans. This means we can really start tackling inequalities and improving people’s health. We urge other Health and Wellbeing Boards to follow their example.”
John Walsh, practice manager at York Street Health Practice, works with HALP. He said:
“Leeds has been demonstrating real commitment to helping homeless people and we are seeing the benefits of that at HALP. By linking services across the city more closely and being aware of what the situation is, resources are being targeted better and delivering more effective outcomes.”
Homeless Health Matters is part of a St Mungo’s Broadway three year overarching campaign “A Future. Now.” The campaign aims to raise awareness of skills, health and housing issues to help improve the lives of homeless people across the UK.
For more information visit: www.mungosbroadway.org.uk/homelesshealth
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Leeds City Council, 4th Floor West, Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR
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L-R: Lesley Howard, manager CRI street outreach project; John Walsh; Cllr Lisa Mulherin; Chris Fields, CEO St George’s Crypt
Notes for editors:
More information about the services at York Street can be found here: http://www.leedscommunityhealthcare.nhs.uk/our_services_az/york_street_health_practice/
The telephone number for HALP is: 07903 746122.
Recommendations in Homeless Health Matters: the case for change include:
- Health and Wellbeing Boards (HWB) should ensure the health needs of single homeless people are included in their Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA).
- HWB should work with local homelessness agencies to collect information on homeless health needs, including access to local services.
- HWB should work with client involvement groups to ensure needs assessments, strategies and commissioning decisions are informed by the experiences of homeless people.
- HWB should provide leadership on addressing homeless health via Directors of Public Health.
- HWB should provide leadership on homeless health by ensuring they are regularly considering homeless health and Local Healthwatch organisations should scrutinise JSNAs.
About St Mungo’s Broadway
St Mungo's Broadway support men and women through more than 250 projects including emergency, hostel and supportive housing projects, advice services, specialist physical health, mental health and skills and work services
Formed in April 2014 by the merger of two long established charities, St Mungo's and Broadway, as well as managing projects including StreetLink and the Combined Homeless and Information Network (CHAIN).
Further press information for St Mungo’s Broadway can be obtained from Gemma Hollingshead, media coordinator, on 020 8762 5570 or 07979 018 734 or email firstname.lastname@example.org