Guidance on assessing the health of homeless people, designed for community nurses and other health professionals, has been presented today by The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI), at a conference in Cardiff.
The guidance was informed by people with experience of homelessness and created by community nurses specialising in homeless health and funded by the Monument Trust.
It features a template health assessment including general physical health, presence of long term conditions, substance use, mental health, sexual health and housing. It also incorporates template care plans for use by nurses and patients.
David Parker-Radford, The QNI’s Homeless health project manager says: “Vast inequality exists between homeless people and the rest of the population in terms of their health. Health professionals are well placed to support people in closing this gap but to do so they need access to all the relevant information.”
Currently, according to a recent QNI survey, only 85% of homeless people are having their housing status recorded by NHS medical records, and so people are not given access to all the support available to them.
“Thanks to the work of some of the most dedicated homeless health specialists in the field, from the QNI’s National Homeless Health Advisory Group, this resource should become a key tool for improving practice in the years ahead,” he adds.