Latest Public Sector News

19.04.12

Mental health a key factor in homelessness

The NHS must improve its support for homeless people with mental health problems, a joint report by the NHS Confederation Mental Health Network and homelessness charity St Mungo’s suggests.

Rough sleeper numbers have risen by 23% nationally since 2010, the report states, with mental ill-health both a major contributing factor and a possible consequence of homelessness.

Up to 70% of people who use homelessness services have a mental health problem, and the partnership has suggested that more flexible models of care are needed to tackle the range of needs these patients present.

Other recommendations include creating direct outreach services to where homeless people are likely to be, to work with other specialist support and improve continuity of contact with homeless people, for example by having a named contact in charge of homelessness health.

Mental Health Network director Steve Shrubb said: “Homeless people have some of the most complex physical and mental health problems that many professionals will ever encounter.

“For a range of NHS-funded services, we are not treating homeless patients for mental health who are intoxicated. People are not accepted because they use drink or drugs. Clearly they do need to be referred for therapy, so it’s not good enough to say, ‘Go away and clean yourself up.’ 

“This report provides the questions NHS leaders need to be asking themselves to make sure homeless people get the priority they need.”

Peter Cockersell, St Mungo’s director of health and recovery, said: “While the links between homelessness and poor mental health are well established, it remains very difficult, however, for homeless people with substance use and mental problems to get mental health treatment.

“The focus must be about prevention and recovery – helping people rebuild their lives through the right support at the right time in the right place. Nobody with a mental health condition should end up sleeping rough. We would strongly urge people to read the report and act on it.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

Comments

There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment

 

related

public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

The importance of openness after Grenfell

The importance of openness after Grenfell

Following the recent Grenfell Tower tragedy, Lord Porter, chairman of the LGA, argues that if the public are going to have faith in the safety testing process then everything must be out in the open more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News

comment

Introducing the Facilities Management Marketplace

14/12/2017Introducing the Facilities Management Marketplace

The new Facilities Management (FM) Marketplace will be an opportunity to st... more >
Meet Pepper, the social care robot

14/12/2017Meet Pepper, the social care robot

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council has become the country’s first local ... more >

interviews

Are we taking a risk on education?

14/12/2017Are we taking a risk on education?

Adrian Prandle, director of economic strategy and negotiations at the Natio... more >

the raven's daily blog

Whole of government must act together to fulfil the ambition of the Industrial Strategy

11/12/2017Whole of government must act together to fulfil the ambition of the Industrial Strategy

Jen Rae, head of innovation policy at Nesta, says the aims in the government’s new Industrial Strategy are ambitious, but will require a shift in policymaking in order t... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >