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Homeless people have 30 years less life expectancy

Homeless person │Bluessbby

The life expectancy for rough sleepers is 30 years shorter compared to the general population. According to Homeless Link, the bad health outcomes that they suffer in the streets have a significant impact on their lifetime. Since 2010 the number of homeless people has increased by 169% in England where almost half of them (46%) have physical health problems.

Over 20 organisations including charities and representatives of nurses and outreach workers have urged the NHS to take steps as part of its ‘Long Term Plan’. They urge the NHS to set up specialist intervention as part of the £20 billion funding they receive for the next five years. Additionally, they request a clear plan to address the current health inequalities.

“The average age of death for a man that is homeless is 47, and for a woman just 43, which is around a shocking 30 years younger than the average person. […] We urge the NHS and the government to seize this opportunity to improve the health outcomes for those most desperately in need”, said Homeless Link CEO, Rick Henderson.

Mental health exceeds drug and alcohol issues

Homeless people also face other issues beyond health problems in the streets. Between 2017 and 2018, 50% of rough sleepers in London have experienced mental health issues. Mental health disorders have become the most severe issue for homeless people above alcohol (43%) and drug abuse (40%). Charities have demanded more funding to train staff and provide specialist services.

“We recognise the need for a significant shift in approach and for planned investment in addressing the health inequalities of these most disadvantaged members of our communities. It is essential that this intention is reflected in the Long Term Plan for the NHS”, explained the Chief Executive of the Queen’s Nursing, Crystal Oldman. Oldman suggested to spend £30 million of the annual budget to provide specialist services, flexibility with appointments, and training for NHS staff.

#homelesspeople #NHS #healthconditions #roughsleeepers

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