On Wednesdays 10:00 – 12:30 at our Drop-in the Central London Community Healthcare NHS Trust provides two nurses who deliver primary care for people rough sleeping in Westminster.
Poor health is widespread amongst homeless people. Evidence gathered from Homeless Link’s 2014 Health Needs Audit provides a stark picture of the health outcomes experienced and self-reported by homeless people. It showed that 73% of people experiencing homelessness suffered from a physical health problem, and 80% a mental health problem. 39% said they took drugs or were recovering from a drug problem, whilst 27% had, or were recovering from, an alcohol problem.
People living in dangerous conditions, such as squats or on the streets, are more likely to have unhealthy lifestyles which can cause long-term health problems or exacerbate existing issues. Data indicates that 77% of homeless people smoke, 35% do not eat at least two meals a day and two-thirds consume more than the recommended amount of alcohol each time they drink.
Despite high levels of GP registration, a significant number of homeless people are not receiving the help they need with their health issues. More than a quarter of those who are receiving some treatment said they would like more help.