Ongoing partnership work to help meet the health needs of people experiencing homelessness and rough sleeping in Sefton has been highlighted as best practice by the Local Government Association (LGA).
The LGA has used the excellent partnership work between Sefton Council, Public Health and Light For Life as a case study on how partners can help tackle health problems associated with homelessness.
While Sefton Council commissions the voluntary sector group, Light for Life, to provide a range of services for homeless people, many of this group were identified to have substance addictions as well.
The Council’s public health and housing support teams decided the solution lay in doing some integrated outreach work and as a result secured some short-term funding from the Government’s Rough Sleepers Initiative to pay for a clinical nurse prescriber.
This allowed them to get a Mersey Care nurse to work directly with the Light for Life outreach service. The nurse started accompanying the homeless service on its rounds in Southport town centre in early 2019 with some positive results.
Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “It’s really rewarding to see the excellent partnership work taking place across the borough to tackle some of the health issues associated with homelessness being recognised by the LGA.
“Through this set up, the nurse carries out assessments, books the clients in for appointments and has even been able to hand out anti-overdose drug treatment.
“While this scheme is still in it’s infancy, we have been able to secure more funding so it will continue for another year. It could also be rolled out on a regional basis as an example of best practice as we continue to help some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.”
Greta Fenney, Chief Executive of Light for Life, added: “Having collected relevant data over a long period of time our service has worked hard to achieve results and the key to success has been partnership working.
“With a developing hospital in-reach service we expect further improved outcomes for this vulnerable group.”
To read the full case study, visit: https://local.gov.uk/sefton-outreach-drug-and-alcohol-support-rough-sleepers