Draft guideline aims to reduce inequality in homeless healthcare

MOBILE outreach and drop-in services offering flexible appointment times could help open up healthcare access to people experiencing homelessness, according to new draft guidance.

The guideline published by NICE and the Centre for Homelessness Impact (CHI) also recommends helping homeless people with transport and removing penalties for missed appointments.

Peer supporters and advocates, it advises, could be used to help people to attend appointments or re-engage with care.

It recommends providers take a long-term approach to engagement and that care should be delivered via specialist multidisciplinary teams spanning all care sectors, tailored to meet local needs. This care, it adds, should encompass patients’ physical and mental health needs, as well as drug and recovery, and social care.

Dr Paul Chrisp, director of the NICE Centre for Guidelines, said: “By better understanding which people are experiencing homelessness and what their specific needs are, health and social care professionals will be better able to help them access the services they require.”

The draft guideline will be out for consultation until November 3. 

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