Health standards to tackle root causes

    Scottish executive standards for the NHS should help reduce
    homelessness by tackling some of its associated health problems,
    Shelter has said.

    The standards are designed to encourage NHS boards – Scotland’s
    equivalent of primary care trusts – to focus more on identifying
    homeless people’s health needs and improving outcomes, give them
    equal access to services and help other agencies tackle
    homelessness.

    Drania Long, policy manager at Shelter Scotland, said she hoped
    they would help reduce homelessness by tackling substance misuse,
    mental health problems and domestic violence.

    She added: “These issues can make it very difficult for a person
    to find and keep a home, and the health service is critical to
    tackling them.

    “The standards will provide a more mainstream approach to
    tackling homelessness and ensure service providers have a better
    understanding of homeless people’s health problems.”

    Long also said it could help social workers and health
    professionals to work alongside each other to provide services to
    the homeless.

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