Revisit of the homelessness and vulnerable people’s project

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Summary of report content

In 2016-17, Healthwatch Blackburn with Darwen worked to find out the views and experiences of the local homeless population. The findings of this work were shared with local NHS, CCG and service providers. The report found: a lack of mental health provision; barriers to accessing services, particularly when a phone is needed to make contact; a lack of one-to-one support for those experiencing homelessness; difficulties accessing GPs and dentists; a lack of a joined-up approach and services working together; a lack of awareness of services and how to access the support on offer.

In 2018-19, Healthwatch Blackburn with Darwen revisited the recommendations and service provider responses from the 2016-17 report to assess whether changes had been considered further and implemented. Findings included: people were still experiencing barriers to registering at GP practices; services had been put in place to support vulnerable people that are homeless or in transient accommodation, however there was not a clear pathway for people to access this support; there were concerns around the lack of power for local authorities to regulate Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs); there were concerns about the uncertainty of future funding for services and the longevity of support available. The report outlines the original recommendations made in the 2016-17 report, the CCG response in July 2017, and an update on progress in March 2019, including further recommendations. A response from Blackburn with Darwen CCG is also included.

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General details

Report title 
Revisit of the homelessness and vulnerable people’s project
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Blackburn with Darwen
Date of publication 
Friday, 28 June, 2019
Type of report 
Key themes 
Health inequalities
Holistic support
Information providing
Integration of services
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff training
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Primary research method used 
Focus group
Unstructured Interview
User stories
How was the information collected? 
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)
GP practice
Mental health services 
Community mental health team (CMHT)
Social care services 
Drug & alcohol services
Community services 
Community based services for people who misuse substances
Community based services for people with mental health needs

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Not known
Age group 
Specific ethnicity if known 
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Other population characteristics 
Homeless people
People who live in poverty
People who misuse drugs
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 
Service manager
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Not known

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Yes action has been taken or promised
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
What type of impact was determined? 
Implied Impact

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.