Shadow Secretary for Health and Social Care Visits Homeless Medical Centre in Brick Lane

On 20 June, staff at Health E1 Homeless Medical Centre in Tower Hamlets hosted a visit by Jonathan Ashworth MP, MP for Leicester and the Shadow Secretary of Health and Social Care. Jonathan’s office contacted ELFT to say he was interested in spending time with staff who worked with homeless people and service users to understand the pathways for supporting homeless people with physical health, mental health, addictions and social issues, to find out what helps, what works and what doesn’t. It was a great opportunity to speak up for vulnerable homeless people and talk about the work carried out by a range of health and social care professionals.

 Staff at the Tower Hamlets practice were joined by colleagues from the Greenhouse Practice in City and Hackney, and from the Newham Transitional Care Practice in Newham to give the MP a perspective from other areas too. Gerry Rolfe from the homeless campaigning charity, Groundswell, also came along to talk about the support they can offer in tandem with the NHS.

 Staff told the MP that integrated care was key as homeless people had many issues and you couldn’t address one with addressing the other simultaneously. All said that trust was key and that it was important that individuals did not feel judged when making contact with services. Reception staff came in for special praise for their skills in handling complex individuals and managing incidents that occurred.

 Jonathan Ashworth MP said, "It was a real honour to spend time on the frontline at Health E1 Homeless Medical Centre listening to staff and service users. The work here is inspirational providing health care and social support for some of the most vulnerable homeless in East London."