Services for Homeless Residents in the City of London and Hackney
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, both the City of London and London Borough of Hackney have seen a growing number of people in need of homelessness services. The City of London and London Borough of Hackney are providing more beds to ensure that these people are supported.
The City of London is using a 20 bed hostel and London Borough of Hackney is using two hotels and other accommodation to provide 247 additional beds. Support Services have also made changes and East London Foundation Trust has launched an Outreach Service- the team has 1 GP and 4+ nurses.
The City of London has 14 homeless residents on the street and Hackney has 8 homeless residents on the street - they are both working with services to support their patients and provide them with housing.
Homeless Residents on the Street
The City of London and London Borough of Hackney have been running outreach shifts to support homeless residents on the street and support them to use local accommodation. The City of London has 14 homeless residents on the street and Hackney has 8 homeless residents on the street. Both the City of London and London Borough of Hackney are running weekly meetings of support services to discuss what can be done to support these people.
Accommodation for Homeless Residents
The City of London and London Borough of Hackney are using more accommodation to support homeless people.
The City of London is using a 20 bed hostel to provide additional beds for homeless residents. 8 residents are using these hostel beds currently. The City of London has provided support to 93 homeless residents since early March. 57 residents are using accommodation managed by the Greater London Authority. The remaining residents have been supported to use other accommodation. The City continues to provide support to these residents.
London Borough of Hackney is using two hotels and other accommodation to provide 247 additional beds to homeless residents. 219 homeless residents are using this accommodation. Support workers from Engage Hackney, Age UK and St Mungo’s Housing First are supporting local homeless residents. Residents have a mix of needs and support services aim to ensure support meets these requirements.
A COVID Care Hotel has been set up in Newham for homeless people who have symptoms of COVID-19, such as a cough or fever. NHS Services and hotels/hostels for homeless people have received communications about how to refer if their patient needs this support. 10 patients are using the accommodation currently.
NHS Services for COVID-19 Patients
East London Foundation Trust has launched an Outreach Service. The team has 1 GP and 4+ nurses and the service is based in the Greenhouse GP Practice. The Greenhouse is a local GP Practice that has a tailor made service for homeless patients. The service will provide care to homeless patients in accommodation across the City of London, London Borough of Hackney, Waltham Forest, Newham and Tower Hamlets. They will provide health checks; support patients to register with a GP; and provide general health care.
UCLH are also offering a Find and Treat Service for homeless patients. They offer COVID-19 testing and general medical care.
Unregistered homeless patients will continue to be directed to the Greenhouse GP Practice to register. The aim is to ensure they receive support from local services.
Substance Misuse - Recovery Services
Services in the City of London and Hackney continue to support patients. Services are looking to support patients by phone or video call where possible in line with face-to-face restrictions. The services will offer face-to-face services for patients who need it. For Opioid Substitute Therapy, services are reviewing how patients receive their medication in order to limit face-to-face contact. Patients can nominate someone to collect their medication for them or receive medication by delivery.
Planning for the Future
More people are using homeless support services across London due to the impact of COVID-19. There is also concern that social distancing and the wider economy will have a negative impact on private sector accommodation for these patients. London Councils and the Great London Authority have developed a plan for how services can address these issues.