The Homeless Need Better Access to Physiotherapy
As homelessness in the UK continues to rise, many of those affected are also suffering with physical health problems which could be aided by physiotherapists.
At the Annual Representative Conference held by the CSP, Hannah Barbour, who spoke on behalf of the national group of regional stewards, said that homeless people find it difficult to access health care services.
She told attendees ‘‘Over 4,000 people sleep rough every night in the UK and there are thousands more ‘hidden homeless’ who stay in squats or other insecure housing."
"And homeless people are much more likely to experience physical or mental health problems than the general population."
In an audit by the Department of Health conducted in 2015, it was found that 78% of respondents reported physical health problems, half of which were musculoskeletal.
There are a number of issues that homeless people face when accessing health care, including:
Due to these issues, homeless people therefore lack early intervention from healthcare staff, and are often left with more complex problems.
Barbour told the CSP audience, that guidance for healthcare staff on how to create better access to health services for homeless people is needed in order to resolve this issue.
Barbara Verrall, from North West stewards and safety representatives agreed.
"Providing a service to these patients will also serve society."
"It will reduce the amount of healthcare needed by vulnerable groups, such as the homeless, and raise the profile of physiotherapy as a solution to healthcare needs," she said.