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Groundbreaking project to improve health of homeless in London

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A pilot project for providing intermediate care to homeless people, thought to be the first of its kind in the UK, has been launched in south London.

The project – including a specialist nurse, GP and health support worker – will provide services to homeless people at the St Mungo’s hostel in Lambeth throughout 2009.

If judged successful in an evaluation by Lambeth PCT, the pilot could pave the way for a permanent service for homeless people in the area and possible beyond.

The term intermediate care was introduced in the NHS Plan but covers a wide range of services intended to reduce unnecessary admissions.

Angela Dawe, Lambeth PCT’s director of primary care and community services, said: ‘Lambeth has a relatively high population of homeless people, and they face some of the most serious healthcare challenges. This project is one of the ways we support them to overcome these challenges.

‘We believe that the project’s approach is right for homeless people and will benefit the local NHS as well, and we hope that our rigorous evaluation will support this view,’ she said.

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