Rough sleepers are one of the most vulnerable groups of people in our neighbourhoods often with health related issues.
Tameside Council is committed to offering the scheme ‘A Bed Every Night’ to get people off the streets by providing a bed, welcome, hot meal and support for anyone sleeping rough; removing them from the risk of extreme weather, improving health and wellbeing.
In support of this, before Christmas, NHS Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group and Go To Doc Healthcare in Denton, joined forces with the Council to provide free flu vaccinations, healthcare advice, including advice on TB signs and symptoms to people sleeping rough.
The first session was delivered at Greystones in Ashton, a national membership charity for organisations working directly with people who become homeless in England, and who work to make services better and campaign for policy change that will help end homelessness.
In total, ten rough sleepers received a free flu vaccination, 9 given health assessments, two referred to the dental services for appointments and one sent to their own GP for an urgent medical need.
This new collaborative way of working has potentially prevented many from becoming seriously unwell over the Christmas period and helping to eliminate unnecessary hospital admissions at the hospital’s busiest time of the year.
Gifts towards Christmas stockings were donated to the night shelters in Ashton and Hyde by staff at the Council, CCG and Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust, so that all those who accessed the ‘A Bed for Every Night’ scheme, would wake up on Christmas Day to a present.
Megan Harrison, Practice Liaison Manager for NHS Tameside and Glossop CCG, said:
“Being involved in the co-ordination of this was both humbling and rewarding. We all walk past people sleeping rough and wish we could make a difference and this project has done just that.
“It is our duty of care to look after the health and wellbeing of all Tameside and Glossop residents, in whatever circumstances they find themselves in life, and this is an excellent example of collaborative working across the agencies. Alongside this, staff members volunteered gifts and a huge thank you to all involved.”
If you know someone who is sleeping rough or you would like to report an issue of sleeping in your area you can contact Tameside Council’s Impact Service by calling: 0161 330 1557. For further information visit the Tameside Council’s website at https://www.tameside.gov.uk/SafetyandHygiene/Rough-Sleeping
In the photography from left to right: Diane Broadbent, Support Secretary; Dawn Hamer, TB Specialist Nurse; Emily Palmer, Respiratory Clerk; Fran Gorst, Respiratory Secretary at NHS Tameside and Glossop Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust.