Promoting the voices of homeless communities in Dorset

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Dorset visited homeless support groups in Bournemouth and Dorset to have conversations with the people they support. They explored their views, beliefs, and attitudes towards engaging with health and social care services and the CQC.

The report highlights the many barriers, challenges and inequalities that people who are experiencing homelessness face when trying to access health and social care services. It also provides an insight into how difficult it is to be homeless and the daily struggles that homeless people face when trying to access the basic things that others take for granted. There are two case studies highlighting the difficulties in getting dental care support and end of life care for people who are homeless.  

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General details

Report title 
Promoting the voices of homeless communities in Dorset
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Dorset
Date of publication 
Thursday, 7 October, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 15 October, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 15 October, 2021
Key themes 
Health inequalities
Information providing

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
Soul Food, which provides support and food to rough sleepers and the vulnerably housed of Weymouth and Portland. HealthBus, a free medical drop-in clinic for people who are sleeping rough in Bournemouth and the surrounding areas.
Primary research method used 
Structured interview
User stories
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
Dentist (non-hospital)
Social care services 
Adult social care
Drug & alcohol services
Hospice services
Community services 
Community based services for people who misuse substances
Community based services for people with mental health needs
Other services 
Patient transport

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Other population characteristics 
Homeless people
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.