Background Homeless people die young and less frequently access healthcare including palliative care (PC) (Care Quality Commission, 2017; Tackling Inequalities in End of Life Care for Minority Groups VCSE Health and Wellbeing Alliance Project Group, 2018; Shulman, Hudson, Low, et al., 2018). St Gemma’s Hospice identified knowledge and service provision gaps for this disadvantaged group. Our project brought together PC and homelessness services to improve multi-agency working and reduce health inequalities.
Aim To widen access to PC for homeless and vulnerably housed people of Leeds; improving their end-of-life outcomes by: reviewing existing service provision; identifying unmet need; developing formal links with agencies: improving multi-agency collaboration; facilitating personalised, holistic palliative care.
Multi-agency steering group created.
Systematic review of inequality for homelessness to inform project.
Interviews with homeless service users and providers.
Project plan developed:
Planning: May 2020 – July 2020
Research: Aug. 2020 – Sept. 2020
Delivery: Oct. 2020 – July 2021
Evaluation: Aug. 2021 – Oct. 2021
Outcome measures agreed.
Regular reporting to funders/sponsors against agreed outcome measures.
Conclusion Increased numbers of homeless patients have been supported by PC services in Leeds. Referrals continue to rise with positive word of mouth. Patients are achieving end-of-life care in their preferred place. Health care professionals and homeless workers have been empowered to manage the complex needs of this group, supporting people to die with dignity and choice.
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