Riverside attends NHS confederation conference 2016
The health and wellbeing of homeless and vulnerably housed people will be the main focus for Riverside as our Head of Health and Care Boaz Elieli and our Care and Support team attend this week’s national NHS Confederation Conference, showcasing the work that Riverside does to improve people’s health. Boaz explains:
At the conference local, regional and national Government health providers will be discussing the funding and future provision of health services and I am really pleased that two of Riverside’s health and housing services are being showcased.
At our STAGES centre in Middlesbrough, a supported housing service for vulnerable and socially excluded homeless people, the Extra Life and Wellbeing Clinic was created after having identified the gaps in services for local homeless people who often present with unmet or urgent health needs. The clinic is run by a team from the nearby Fulcrum Medical Centre twice a week and treats non-emergency acute conditions. It also helps ensure patients are registered with a GP, and gives the opportunity to identify previously undiagnosed long-term conditions. In addition, it acts as a referral hub and place to gain support on lifestyle factors such as smoking, substance misuse and sexual health.
At our Beacon veterans centre in North Yorkshire our team works to tackle some of the health and mental trauma issues sometimes linked to serving in the Armed Forces. Through our specialist team we provide one-to-one support to residents to help them improve their health and wellbeing by building personal resilience and confidence, helping them back into stable housing, training and employment. More than this, following feedback from veterans about their preferred training and employment placements, a pioneering therapeutic bakery was set up to act as a pre-employment training facility and provide a therapeutic outlet via baking.
The health and wellbeing impacts of housing-based services like these are wide-ranging – from boosting the number of vulnerable people having regular health checks and identifying unmet health needs, through to reducing the number of A&E attendances, and dramatically increasing people’s personal resilience feeling of overall wellbeing.
My final reflection is that while it is an accepted face that homeless people and those living in insecure accommodation have lower access to healthcare services and poorer health outcomes, housing providers can play a key role in addressing this