Austerity and Access: Conference for Nurses and Midwives working with the homeless

The London Housing Foundation is supporting the London Network of Nurses and Midwives in Homelessness and the award winning Groundswell to present a unique conference on Friday 17th April, 2015.

Last year’s conference was a huge success.  Over 120 professionals from across the sector listened to presentations from senior figures in the NHS and homelessness organisations and took part in discussions challenging current practice and promoting innovation.

Organiser Samantha Dorney-Smith said: “The theme this year is austerity and access.  In a time of increasing financial challenge, how do we ensure that homeless people are not missed?  With changes in the rights of migrants, and new ideas on charging for prescriptions, will our client group, one of the most vulnerable in society, miss out?  And is it our job to make sure this doesn’t happen?”

Once again the conference has attracted high profile speakers.

Al Storey, PhD is the Clinical Lead of the pan-London Find and Treat Service based out of University College London Hospitals. He has experience and proven expertise in tackling communicable diseases among homeless people, drug and alcohol users, prisoners and destitute migrants.

Penny Louch, PhD, is a Nurse Practitioner and Nurse Prescriber and has been the Clinical Lead of Health E1 since 2007.  She is the Director of the East End Health Network – a partnership of 5 practices in the East End that works to deliver better health outcomes for deprived populations. Penny holds the RCGP certificate in Drug Misuse and was awarded the Queen’s Nurse Award in 2013.

Jeremy Swain is Chief Executive of Thamesreach, a regular columnist for Inside Housing and a Trustee of the LHF.  He is known as a leading thinker on new approaches to tackling rough sleeping.

Groundswell Director of Advocacy Kate Bowgett said: “Health is a serious unmet need, we know that 73% of people experiencing homelessness have a health problem and  that they find health services, particularly primary care, difficult to access. This conference gives us an opportunity to listen to speakers who are breaking down some of the barriers and enter into a dialogue about how we can all work together to increase access”.

The conference will be held at the Crypt, St. Martin-in-the-Fields on Friday 17th April 2015. Tickets are only £30 due to the generous funding provided by the London Housing Foundation and the Florence Nightingale Foundation.

Margaret Malcolm, Acting Director at the LHF said: “We are very proud to be sponsoring this conference.  We know that rough sleeping is increasing in parts of London, and services are under greater pressure than ever before.  It is vital that we find ways to make sure homeless people do not miss out on the health care they need.”

The panel discussion will focus on health care access. The panel members include Caroline Alexander (Chief Nurse, NHS London), Dr Adrian McLachlan (Lambeth CCG Chair) and Dr Ray Earwicker (Senior Policy Manager, Health Inequalities Unit DH).

There will also be 10 breakout sessions facilitated by leaders in their field including Dr Phil Timms (Consultant Psychiatrist, START team), John Connelly (Lead Counsellor, Westminster CLCH), the Chelsea and Westminster GUM outreach team, Luther Street Medical Centre, Stan Burridge (Service User Research Lead, Pathway) and numerous senior nurse clinical nurse specialists. The confirmed program will be released shortly on our website.

For more details or to buy tickets visit http://homelesshealthnetwork.net/ and follow us on twitter @lnnmhomeless

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