LOCAL NEWS: Local homeless charity to improve healthcare access for rough sleepers


Bournemouth based homeless charity, BCHA, share plans for a new medical and wellbeing suite set to ease the strain on A&E.

BCHA is appealing for help to create a medical and wellbeing suite which will improve the health of people who are homeless or in temporary accommodation and ease the strain on A&E.

The charity has spent over 50 years helping thousands of vulnerable people to find homes and jobs.

The intended site for the expanded medical facility is Ten St Paul’s, a centre in Bournemouth currently owned by BCHA that accommodates 40 people who would otherwise be homeless. 

The charitable registered housing association has already secured £46,000 in funding from two local Trusts and a Rotary group, but they are now appealing to local business for help in raising the remaining £25,000.

Martin Hancock, Chief Executive of BCHA said: “The facility will enable residents and others who find themselves homeless to access more immediate GP-led treatment and diagnosis… resulting in smarter interventions and preventative support and creating less of a strain on already stretched public services.

“The number of people sleeping rough in the south west has almost tripled since 2010 with Bournemouth now the third highest.”

Those who are homeless or staying in short-term accommodation are often unable to access the healthcare they need. This results in a strain on emergency services as problems which could be treated quickly by a GP can escalate into painful emergencies, sending the person to hospital.

Dr Mufeed Ni’man of South Coast Medical Group (Headquartered at Providence Surgery in Boscombe) currently runs a limited medical service for BCHA at Ten St Paul’s, but says a dedicated suite would have a huge impact on the whole community.

“The Health & Wellbeing Suite will allow us to book appointments for 10 people, three times a week, with drop-in session on Fridays.

“Medical professionals will use the facility for assessments and treatment to prevent their medical conditions deteriorating and thus reduce the use of A&E and hospital admissions.”

The long-term aim is for Ten St Paul’s to become a one-stop facility, with both the residents of the housing scheme and anyone in the local community able to use the health centre and a planned Recovery Café.

Businesses and individuals or groups interested in finding out more should contact Martin Hancock at: martinhancock@bcha.org.uk 

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