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Brighton and Hove to host 'pioneer site' to tackle homelessness
Brighton and Hove is bidding to create a unique united front to tackle its homeless problem.
The city wants to become a “pioneer site” which will bring homeless teams from different organisations together.
Officials believe the project will help reduce the number of people on the city streets and cut the number of homeless people having to be admitted to hospital or needing extra health care.
Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is working in partnership with the city council, the community and voluntary sector and local NHS community, hospital, mental health and substance abuse services to develop the project.
They will learn if they have been successful in their bid to gain pioneer status from the Department of Health in September.
If successful, the project will get extra Government help to get set up, and the results could be used by other towns and cities around the country.
A report to the CCG board said homeless people were some of the city's most vulnerable individuals who often had a combination of physical ill-health with mental illness and substance abuse.
This placed an “unprecedented pressure on health, housing support services and other statutory partners.”
The report said a combination of high levels of need, pressure on accommodation and the impact of the economic downturn and welfare reforms has meant city is witnessing an increasing level of homelessness.
It also said the life expectancy of a homeless man was between 43 and 47 years compared to the city average of just under 79 years.
Accident and emergency attendances are also five times higher than average with the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton admitting hundreds of homeless people a year.
CCG chief operating officer Geraldine Hoban told board members having an integrated service would help stop people from slipping through the gaps and ensure they accessed the help and support they needed.
The report said: “Brighton and Hove is a city with a large and growing number of homeless people who have extremely poor health outcomes.
“Despite a significant amount of resource directly at our homeless population and some excellent examples of innovation, we do not have a strategic or joined up approach to supporting our most vulnerable community.
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