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Nurses celebrate success of homeless health initiative

Chief nursing officer for England Dame Christine Beasley, other leading professionals and nurses who work with homeless people gathered at the Queen’s Nursing Institute this month to celebrate the success of the QNI’s homeless health initiative.

The initiative, supported by the Big Lottery Fund, has spearheaded efforts to improve community nursing services for homeless people.

The project originally aimed to involve 110 nurses in a national network of information sharing. Currently there are 648 nurses and other professionals involved in the scheme. Resources on the QNI website have been downloaded more than 67,000 times at the most recent count.

The initiative organised regular meetings throughout England for nurses working with people without a secure home, featuring expert speakers, updates on national policy and a chance to share good practice.

An external evaluation showed that 88% of homeless health initiative members felt the initiative had reduced their isolation, and 93% said it had helped them improve services to patients.

Dame Christine said the Initiative “helped the most vulnerable in society by giving support directly to professionals in the front line.”

She added: “Whatever happens with spending reviews and budget cuts, it is vital that we do not lose sight of the health needs of homeless people.”

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