The Queen’s Nursing Institute has produced a new toolkit for community nurses working with the homeless.
It forms part of the QNI’s “Opening Doors” scheme, a two year project to improve the health of homeless people and families, with a particular reference to substance misuse.
The “Safeguarding Homeless Families” guidance has been written by specialist health visitor Jane Cook.
She said: “If used consistently it will provide a benchmark for commissioners, health and wellbeing boards, as well as practitioners.”
Jo Fitzpatrick, the project manager of Opening Doors, said: “Most nurses manage caseloads in terms of absolute numbers, but this does not capture the complex needs of homeless people.
“Commissioners and planners tend to look at caseloads but do not take in to account the multiple needs that homeless families present with. Therefore they tend not to commit adequate resources to deal with these families.
“Developing robust assessment tools that gather data to identify needs, interventions and outcomes can show the added value of the work of specialist nursing teams.”