New scheme to provide health support to West Norfolk's homeless
Health chiefs in West Norfolk have teamed up with a homeless charity to provide support to people sleeping rough in the borough this winter.
A pilot project between the borough's clinical commissioning group (CCG) and the Purfleet Trust supported dozens of people over a 12 week period last year.
Now, the two groups have announced that a similar programme will run until the end of March to help rough sleepers get the support they need.
A nurse from the Southgates Medical Practice will run weekly sessions at the Purfleet Trust's headquarters in Austin Fields.
John Webster, the CCG's accountable officer, said: “The number of homeless people in West Norfolk has grown and people living rough over the winter period experience a number of additional challenges, one of which is the impact it has on their health.
“By offering this service, we hope we can help those in need who otherwise may struggle on unaided through the winter months, while also helping to reduce the strain on our medical services in the longer term by addressing people’s needs much earlier.”
Purfleet Trust chief executive Paula Hall said the programme would be of "huge benefit" to its clients.
She added: “People experiencing homelessness have a unique set of healthcare needs and we hope this service will not only be able to meet the initial needs but provide information and referrals to help clients move forward.
“Clients are more likely to attend appointments here as it is an environment in which they already feel comfortable and safe.
"We have already had some excellent results with clients who have previously found it hard to engage with services receiving treatment and advice on continuing health care."