Homeless Health hub: Launch event

25 March 2024

In phase two of the project, the BHCA steering group identified and prioritised twelve challenges in the homelessness health system which can be found here. These were then grouped into six themes which are:

● Barriers to accessing care and support
● Lack of mental health support
● Stigma and judgement
● Lack of continuity of care along pathways
● Capacity and training opportunities for staff working in the system.

We found that a lot of these issues could be covered and resolved through the establishment of a Homeless Healthcare Hub which we co-designed in Autumn 2023. It would be a physical one-stop-shop where people experiencing homelessness could access all their support services under one roof.

This is not a new idea; many others across Brighton and further afield have ideated about a homeless hub. As such, on Tuesday 5th March 2024, we held a meeting to present and discuss our idea with the local system. It was a collaborative event where we invited other groups who have had similar and overlapping ideas to also speak.

The meeting started with a presentation from Brighton and Hove Common Ambition (BHCA) who also led a check-in, this was followed by three other presentations. These were Tim Worthely (Arch Healthcare) who offered a service voice, Chas Walker (BHCC and NHS Sussex) who spoke from a system’s perspective and The Clocktower Sanctuary’s Youth Voice Group who shed light on their similar ideas through a powerful theatre piece.

The room was then split into two tables for discussions facilitated by BHCA. On the two separate tables one for service providers the other for service leaders and commissioners.

They discussed the three questions; a few key points highlighted are as follows:

1. What is already happening in this space?
– There other lots of other services already providing care and support

2. What are the barriers to this work?
– Funding the project; especially if the funding would be fragmented if lots of
services were involved
– Finding an appropriate building is a big challenge; it would need to physically
accessible and also easy to get to
– Governance and ‘ownership’: If the hub means lots of services under one
roof, then what will the governance look like? ‘Who needs to say yes’?

3. What would you like to see happen next?
– It would be useful to research and learn about similar projects that exist in
other areas of the UK and further afield
– There were discussions about a possible campaign to gain support and
– Ensure lived experience voices continue to be part of conversations
– Can we pilot the hub idea on a smaller scale as a starting point?

There were attendees from across the sector including service providers and commissioners. This was the first time that this idea was discussed alongside people with lived experience of homelessness and hopefully not the last.

It was great that BHCA was able to bring everyone together and held the room for such a diversity of voices and expertise. Through having these different perspectives, it meant the conversations were creative, innovative as well as realistic and ‘grounded’. We hope this is just the beginning of the conversation.

If you want to speak to us about it, do get in touch with Project Manager, Nicky Pyper. 

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