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Mapping of specialist primary health care services in England for people who are homeless. Summary of findings and considerations for health service commissioners and providers.

Research output: Book/ReportReport

Maureen Ann Crane, Gaia Cetrano, Louise Marjorie Anne Joly, Sarah Coward, Blanaid Josephine Mary Daly, Chris Ford, Heather Gage, Jill Manthorpe, Peter Williams

Original languageEnglish
PublisherSocial Care Workforce Research Unit, King's College London
Commissioning bodyNIHR National Institute for Health Research
Number of pages16
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2018


King's Authors


Homelessness has been a growing problem in many towns and cities across
England since 2010. It can have a serious adverse impact on a person’s health
and well-being. People who are homeless and sleeping rough or staying in
hostels and shelters have significantly higher levels of physical and mental
health problems than the general population. They also have higher rates of
problematic drug and alcohol use (Wright and Tompkins, 2006).
There are challenges in meeting the health needs of people who
are homeless. Many neglect their health, and their unsettled lifestyle
and sometimes chaotic behaviour reduce their likelihood of completing
treatment programmes. At the same time, many people who are homeless
face barriers in accessing health services, including the inflexibility of
services and appointment systems, negative attitudes from some health
staff, and the difficulties that services have in treating people with complex
and multiple needs.
This summary report presents key findings from a systematic mapping
exercise across England of specialist primary health care services for single
people who are homeless. It raises questions for consideration by health service
commissioners and providers about the provision of primary health care
services for this patient group.
The mapping exercise was part of a larger study in progress which is
examining the integration, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of different
models of delivering primary health care to people who are homeless
(HEARTH study). The HEARTH study is funded by the Health Services
and Delivery Research Programme of the National Institute for Health
Research, and is being conducted at the Social Care Workforce Research Unit,
within the Policy Institute at King’s College London, and at the University of
Surrey. Ethical approval for the study was obtained from London Bloomsbury
Research Ethics Committee (Reference 15/LO/1382).

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