Homeless people vaccinated against Covid-19

Date published: 12 April 2021

The homeless and transient population in Rochdale are receiving vital protection against Coronavirus, thanks to the efforts of the Rochdale Health Alliance’s Homeless Alliance Response Team (HART).

Since the first vaccination session held on 3 March 2021, 144 service users have been vaccinated at hostels, bed and breakfasts and homeless support hubs. Vaccinations will take place every two weeks at the support hub, moving forward. The HART nurses have been supported by Rochdale Health Alliance’s Primary Care Nurses as well as newly recruited Nurse Associates.

Middleton GP and Chair of Rochdale Health Alliance, Dr Mo Jiva said: “Our Covid-19 vaccination sessions will help to protect and save lives within this at risk group.

“Because of transient lifestyles, homeless people are more susceptible to the harm from Covid-19.

“Unfortunately, there are increasing numbers of people in the borough who are homeless and live transient lifestyles who often also have substance misuse, mental health and dependency problems.

“These chaotic lifestyles mean that many rarely access health services at traditional venues like GP surgeries. Our scheme takes the health care and support to them in venues where and when they regularly attend."

Jackie Stansfield, Head of Clinical Services at Rochdale Health Alliance, said: “We are aiming to support all residents of the borough in receiving the Covid-19 vaccination.

“The homeless population are extremely vulnerable and with the support of our partner agencies, we have been able to successfully reach a significant number of people and provide them with access to this vital protection.”

Service users are seen by the HART Outreach nurses on a regular basis and these are supported and signposted to other services as needed.

The outreach service includes;

  • Face to face advice and assessments
  • Health screening such as blood pressure and pulse testing
  • Measuring weight
  • Wound care
  • Vaccinations
  • Mental health screening
  • Drug and alcohol screening
  • GP registration support

If you know of, or encounter a homeless or transient person, you can make them aware of HART, which would be pleased to see them. Contact Kate Fisher, HART Liaison Officer on 07741 199834.

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