Living on the streets
It can’t have escaped anyone’s notice just how cold it’s suddenly become and now we’re being told to expect snow! For me, it’s this time of year when it really hits home to me the difficulties and hardships experienced by those living on the streets and the impact that this has on their health. By virtue of them being homeless, many of them already experience significant physical health problems as a result of lifestyle, but we must also not forget that many also experience high levels of mental illness and issues with addiction. Many of these homeless individuals will attempt to access healthcare in a number of different ways, although many will face prejudices when doing so.
The London pathway has developed an integrated model of care that really takes into account the needs of the individual and which works to sorts out their problems at source. London pathway delivers this by providing a truly integrating approach to its delivery of co-ordinated primary, secondary and social care. A model that Greater Manchester would benefit from adopting if it truly believed in developing better care for this vulnerable group. The Shared Health Foundation is a champion of the homeless pathway and hopes Greater Manchester in the near future will realise its potential.
Marie Marshall, Team member at SHF