Homeless Health Projects Achieved Lasting Benefits, New Study Shows
7 August 2020
The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) has published an evaluation of the ten nurse-led homeless health projects that were funded by The QNI and its partner charity Oak Foundation in 2018.
Professor Ros Bryar was commissioned by the QNI to follow up on the projects after one year, to examine their scale, spread and long term impact.
The projects benefited people who were experiencing homelessness or who were living in vulnerable or temporary housing, including recent migrants, street homeless, people in custody, and Gypsy, Roma and Traveller populations. All of these groups experience a range of health inequalities which can be severe and life-threatening. The ten projects – which received up to £5000 each – were all led by community nurses working in different parts of England, with projects taking place in London and the southeast, the Midlands, northwest and southwest.
Some highlights of the report include:
- Seven of the ten projects have continued beyond the original funded year
- Three have been extended to cover a whole county or have been extended into nearby boroughs
- Four have continued and been absorbed into the local service provision, two with additional funding
- Two of the projects were based in specialist health services, TB and liver services, and both of these have had a significant impact in networks of these specialist services
- One project has been widely disseminated throughout London and has been commissioned for the whole of one borough, with several others looking at implementing the project model
- One project has been extended to the whole of Surrey and extended with £500k additional funding.
Dr Crystal Oldman CBE, QNI CEO said, ‘The QNI has been facilitating a network of nurses working in homeless health services for the last 13 years. Nurses working in these challenging and rewarding roles have extensive knowledge of the complex health needs of people without a home, delivering healthcare directly in a wide range of environments, most often through nurse-led services. These projects represent the vital role that inclusion health nurses have to play in supporting some of the most vulnerable groups in society and we are delighted that they were able to make a significant difference to so many people’s lives.’
She added, ‘The QNI is now actively seeking funding to enable the Homeless Health Programme, this valuable network for inclusion health nurses, to continue. It is a lifeline for nurses who are leading services all over the UK for the most vulnerable in today’s society and has provided a critical support network during the pandemic.’
One of the project leads said, ‘When you have an idea of how to improve services sometimes you can’t see how to achieve it. With the QNI’s support, I was able to achieve so much in a short space of time.’