New 'Manchester Homeless Healthcare Standards' are being rolled out in the city centre and across Manchester thanks to a new project funded by your city centre councillors.
Councillors committed £5,000 to the project, which aims to ensure that healthcare is a priority for all agencies working with homeless people in Manchester and empower homeless people and those working with them to advocate for better healthcare access and reduce health inequalities.
The project, delivered by Urban Village Medical Practice in Ancoats who provide primary care services to homeless people in the city centre, was funded with a mix of cash grant funding administered by councillors and a small amount of ward level public health funding which councillors determined should be spent to address the issue of homelessness.
The aim of the project is to ensure that agencies working with rough sleepers will commit to delivering the standards as part of their practice. To support this Urban Village Medical Practice will train and inform staff about how they can directly support rough sleepers and other homeless people in this area to exercise their rights and access healthcare appropriately. Information will also be produced for rough sleepers themselves explaining their rights in relation to accessing healthcare in the city and how services will support them to exercise those rights.
Cllr Kevin Peel, who put forward the proposal for the funding and led the call for agencies to bid for ideas to deliver a project, said:
"Homeless people experience multiple and chronic health problems at a significantly higher rate than the general population, yet face barriers accessing healthcare when and where they need it. Among homeless populations, rough sleepers have significantly worse health outcomes and are likely to de-prioritise healthcare, other than when in crisis.
"By promoting healthcare and access to appropriate services, this project will support rough sleepers (and other homeless people in the city centre) to become self-caring, build their self-esteem and, ultimately, support them away from the streets. This will have a direct benefit on the city centre through a reducing number of rough sleepers."
For more information about our work to tackle homelessness and the advice, information and support that is available to those at risk of homelessness or sleeping rough, visit our dedicated page at www.citycentrevoice.co.uk/homelessness