Background Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic some shared learning had taken place between Mary Stevens Hospice, their local hostel and members of the police force following a series of events surrounding the death of a homeless man. Following receipt of successful funding the Homeless Outreach and Palliative Care Education 2-year programme commenced in January 2022. The programme adopts a 3-tiered approach which will incorporate education, an outreach service and the award winning ‘No Barriers Here’, which uses an arts-based approach to advance care planning.
Method The initial tier of the project is the development of an eight-education session rolling programme to be delivered twice yearly. The aim of the education is to facilitate the development of third sector staffs’ knowledge, enabling them to identify, and support people who are experiencing homelessness, with advanced ill health, and may be experiencing palliative and end of life care needs.
The second tier is the development of an outreach hub where people who are experiencing homelessness or structural vulnerability will have timely access to palliative care including bereavement support. It also includes support for third sector staff supporting this vulnerable population in signposting to the appropriate services. This outreach work is being developed in partnership with the local Integrated Health Care Trust. The last tier of the project will focus on increasing the number of people experiencing homelessness who are given the opportunity to make informed choices and decisions about their future care.
Results It is hoped that the results from this project will inform the development of pathways into hospice services; will encourage the development of a community of practice within the locality and will facilitate a palliative care and homeless network. The early findings will be available late 2022.
Conclusion This project seeks to improve access to palliative care by populations who are experiencing homelessness through education and outreach support.
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