In this section:
This year, why not enjoy a day out at a National Gardens Scheme garden - you'll be helping fund the QNI too!
Providing vital funding for projects that help improve patient care.
Visit our nursing heritage website, a celebration of District Nursing around the world since 1859.
QUESTION: I am a community nurse for the homeless based in Birmingham. I work at a drop in center for single homeless people. I am a prescriber and increasingly find that i am treating Eastern European men mainly from Poland who have no recourse to public funds and are not eligible for free prescriptions. Do other nurses have similar problems and if so how do they treat?
ANSWER: See whether there is a local charity that might consider supporting with some money to get prescriptions paid (wherever possible ENSURE that a minimum sum is paid by the patient (it only has to be a token, so as to stop a culture of something for nothing, say a pound or 50p).
ANSWER: I too am a prescribing nurse for the homeless (based in London). I get around this problem by asking patients to complete an HC1 form. Having filled in the form (normally with a c/o address of our clinic) I then telephone the local pharmacist and explain that a HC2 certificate has been applied for but not yet received. Without exception I have had no problems with pharmacists dispensing the required meds. Once issued the HC2 certificate is valid for one year and can also be used for free dental treatment and for eye tests and glasses. The form contains no questions about status so is really useful for anyone who is not in receipt of benefits.
QUESTION: The A10 (Eastern European) group are an ever increasing population who are presenting with health beliefs and cultural issues which are quite challenging. We are keen to do some health profiling to ensure their needs are met appropriately so would you ask our members if their rough sleeper counts are going up and if so what sort of numbers they are now recording. Also, has anyone done any profiling around the needs of A10s?
RESPONSE: I don't have answers but am very interested in what other members have to say on this. We run a clinic in a homeless day shelter and have recently noticed that the attendees (at the centre for lunch) are 50% Eastern European. The numbers have also increased since the weather got colder and the Day shelter has stopped charging for food. Another point is that many are not registered with a GP and are not very interested in accessing our services either. Clients have told me that there is no point because they cannot afford prescription charges.
Also see this report http://www.broadwaylondon.org/CHAIN/CHAINResearch.html for information about rough sleepers in London
Also, this information from Homeless Link:
Supporting migrants from the European Economic Area (EEA), 'The Response and Offer for EEA Nationals' is guidance that outlines a range of interventions as well as presenting the sources of support and information that are available: www.homeless.org.uk/effective-action/EEAresponseandoffer
Summary of the entitlements available to EEA Nationals to enable agencies to support people to make informed decisions about whether to pursue this route as part of a solution to rough sleeping: www.homeless.org.uk/effective-action/EEAEntitlements