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Provision of healthcare for the homeless in Coventry

Homelessness in Coventry has risen from 0.25 per 1000 households in 2009/10 to 1.05 in 2014/15. In order toaccomodate this increase a review of service provision is necessary. Homeless people have greater and often more complex health needs than the general population. However many areas do not have a dedicated or coordinated service to provide healthcare for the homeless. Evidence shows that homelessness often overlooked public health planning, meaning that the needs of the most vulnerable members of our community risk being unmet.

The purpose of this project is to carry out an assessment of the health needs of homeless people in Coventry. This will involve reviewing the services already available, identifying any unmet needs and provide recommendations on how current services can be improved where necessary. We will do this by carrying out consultations with homeless people, health care providers and support services in the area. Our aim is to increase the inclusiveness of homeless people, a marginalised group, by providing an opportunity for their views to be taken into account.

The project is interdisciplinary, involving collaboration between medical students and a sociology student, who bring different approaches and perspectives to the team. Being student led, the project will enable us to develop our research skills and communication skills further. We will also be working with a diverse range of organisations in the local community, helping to establish links between the University and community services for further research.