The new custom built £700K Centre which is located in the Gallowgate area near Glasgow city centre, brings together many of Glasgow's homeless health and social care services under one roof for the first time, alongside a new dedicated GP service for homeless people.
Staffed by 62 health and social work professionals, the Centre offers a wide range of services, including nurse treatment clinics, methadone clinics, psychiatry, physiotherapy and dietician assessment, podiatry sessions, mental health services and resettlement assessments as well as child immunisation and chronic disease management clinics for around an overall caseload of 460 individuals with over 160 people attending the Centre on a weekly basis. Outreach services, deliver care and treatment in 62 clinics in various locations such as the cities hostels and voluntary organisations. The Centre at Hunter Street will provide an additional base for these services.
A new dedicated GP surgery, staffed by 2 GP's, provides a full range of general medical services tailored to specifically meet the needs of homeless service users. Consultations are available without appointment.
The Centre and the services it provides have been developed to meet the needs of Glasgow's homeless population as defined in the recent Health Needs Assessment, which was carried out on behalf of Glasgow's Homeless Partnership. These new premises will improve the level of joint working and ensure good communication across health and social work service involved in the provision of care.
In line with Glasgow's Homeless Strategy, hostels will close over the next few years and residents will be resettled back into local communities where homeless health and social work staff will assist them to access mainstream health services.
The new centre will, however, ensure that the health needs of this group of patients continue to be met during the period of transition and will act as a ‘stepping stone' to help people become accustomed to using mainstream services such as GPs and health centres.
When hostel residents are resettled, health staff based in the Centre will be dispersed back into locality health services within communities to assist existing mainstream staff to cope with any additional workload which this client group may generate.
As well as improving access, the Centre will provide a welcoming, non-judgmental environment for patients, and will bring these health and social work homeless staff together for the first time in one location.
Health needs assessments have shown that homeless people have many similar health problems as the general population, but have multiple illnesses with more complex needs. Specific problems with addictions and mental health as well as abscesses and skin and chest conditions can be common.
Kate Benson, Primary Care Homeless Service Manager, Greater Glasgow Primary Care NHS Trust, said: "Staff have been working in Glasgow to improve and develop homeless health services for many years, but this is the first time we have been able to bring together services in an integrated, custom-built centre. We're delighted to be able to offer our services in such high quality surroundings and feel that this is a major step forward in meeting the health and social care needs of Glasgow's homeless population."
For further information contact Elsbeth Campbell on 0141 211 3891
Note to Editors
The Glasgow Homeless Partnership was established in August 2001. The Partnership, which is made up of social work, the NHS and voluntary organisations, is responsible for planning and developing services for homeless people. A key objective is to oversee a major initiative to close the city's remaining homeless hostels and transfer residents into a range of alternative accommodation which better suits their needs. Around £50million is being invested in the hostel closure and resettlement programme over a three year period. Other services provided by the Homeless Partnership include the Homeless Addiction Team (based at Bell St) and the Homeless Families Service (based at the Hamish Allen Centre). Both run clinics at Hunter Street Health Centre and a wide range of community and hostel based venues across the city. The Homeless Addiction Team is made up of health and social work staff who offer treatment, support and education to help homeless people tackle their alcohol and drug addiction problems. Clinics are held at a variety of venues throughout Glasgow. The Homeless Families Service, which offers support, advice and practical assistance to families, is based at the Hamish Allen Centre. The service is staffed by a part time consultant GP, 4 health visitors, staff nurse, nursery nurse and admin support. The Assessment and Diversion Team (who provide support to people who are homeless for the first time) are based at Clyde Place.