Last week Jamie Reed MP and I took part in a Shadow Health Team visit to St Mungo’s StreetMed health service in South London.
We met with St Mungo’s StreetMed nurses who work with homeless clients across London to improve access to healthcare and support their recovery. We also spoke with Ricky (pictured right with Mat Davies, StreetMed Manager) who StreetMed nurses have been supporting with his healthcare for the last 12 months.
Homeless people experience poorer health than the wider population. 80 per cent of homeless people have one or more physical health problems and 70 per cent have a mental health problem.
StreetMed started in 2012 and has seen a reduction in A&E use amongst clients – in addition, 100 per cent of its clients are now registered with a GP.
StreetMed should be applauded for their work to prevent homeless people falling through the healthcare net, especially given the complex physical and mental healthcare needs that many homeless people have.
It was good to see a service that aims to provide ‘whole person care’, addressing health and social care as well as housing and other issues. It is clear that the service is making a real difference in reducing pressure on A&Es by enabling people to access planned and more appropriate healthcare.