Executive ‘long way’ from improving health of homeless people

A homeless charity has challenged claims by the Scottish
executive that it is making improvements in health care for
homeless people, writes Nicola Barry.

Health minister Malcolm Chisholm and social justice minister
Margaret Curran told a conference on health and homelessness last
week that the health of homeless people was being properly looked
at for the first time.

But Shelter Scotland warned that there was still “a long way to
go” before anyone could say the health of the homeless had

A spokesperson for the charity said: “There’s a proportion of
street homeless with long-term drug problems and the truth is that
very little has been done for them.”

However, health and homeless co-ordinator for Scotland Sue
Irving said: “We are not miracle workers. We only started to
implement these action plans in July. Out of 15 health boards we
have seven in implementation, a further four will be joining them
soon, and the remaining four require considerable work.”

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