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The Service - The Winter Outreach Programme

The winter outreach program is an expansion of the existing nursing outreach program run from the medical centre. It involves a nurse and legal advisor visiting a range of winter shelters for homeless people in central London as well as undertaking some more targeted outreach with existing clients of the medical centre who were known to be frequent Accident and Emergency (A&E) attendees.

Aims

Preventing A&E admission, easing pressure in A&E during winter time and sustainability of health care interventions (continuity of care) by supporting access for homeless people to services with advice in social care, housing, immigration and welfare rights.

The Service

The winter programme originally piloted in 2013 has continued in 2014 in the form of a LES (Enhanced Service). During the winter phase when there is more pressure in A&E departments and the Cold Weather Shelters are open, the team (a nurse and advocacy worker/legal advisor) offers outreach health assessments and advice by attending shelters, targeting hard to reach clients, carrying out an outreach flu campaigns and offering training to staff (night shelters, A&E, etc) as well as offering assessments, case work and signposting for benefits, housing and immigration advice.