New role aims to boost healthcare

Raising awareness about homeless people among health professionals, particularly in primary care, will be a key task of Wales’ new health and homelessness facilitator.

Amanda Ryan, who will have the task of improving access to healthcare for homeless people, told Community Care that “myth-busting and raising awareness among health professionals” would be a top priority, following her appointment by the Welsh assembly government last week.

She added: “People need to be registered with a GP in order to access secondary care. But it is accessing primary care that is most important.”

Ryan is to look at setting up more specialist homelessness health services, such as more flexible outreach. Such services are currently only available in Cardiff. “I’m going to look at what the needs are in other areas of Wales and tie that in to local service provision,” she added.

Ryan, who is a nurse consultant at Cardiff and Vale NHS Trust, starts the job on 1 March.

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