From April 2020, the Wellness Hub at Corby Urgent Care Centre (CUCC) took part in the government-backed drive through local councils to help homeless people off the streets during the COVID19 pandemic.
• To support homeless individuals into accommodation throughout the pandemic and beyond
• To build and strengthen relationships with local organisations to provide better signposting for patients in need
Background and development
The CUCC Wellness Hub provides support and guidance for people experiencing non-physical healthcare needs. The Hub is managed by our patient advisors who have a wealth of knowledge and experience in healthcare needs and offers a drop-in service.
To improve our pathways for homeless patients, the Wellness Hub worked to develop relationships with partner organisations. We have worked alongside Corby Borough Council Housing team, Corby Homeless Project charity, the local foodbank and estate agents LG James, to establish a wider signposting network and assist in the pandemic response drive to help the homeless community into accommodation. Alongside this, in order to support our homeless patients with additional needs, we have collaborated with Mind and Northamptonshire Mental Health Hub and Crisis Cafes.
The OMG Foundation, OneMedical Group’s charitable arm, has also been involved in the project. Through the OMG Foundation, we aim help local communities, causes and charities by sharing our experience and expertise. Two representatives from CUCC and The Foundation’s steering group visited the Corby Homeless Project charity to initiate discussions on how OneMedical Group can help them, for example through staff giving time to assist with a variety of tasks such as housekeeping and gardening. Discussions also focused on how the CUCC Wellness Hub can work with the Corby Homeless Project charity to provide the best support for patients.
During 2020, patient advisors at the Wellness Hub saw and supported 19 individuals with homelessness and related issues. A further 11 people have been supported since then through 2021 so far, though it is worth noting that the figure may be higher than this in reality; due to changes in data recording, only individuals whose primary presenting issue was homelessness/housing will have been captured in this figure.
Feedback from partner organisations has helped us streamline the services we offer at the Wellness Hub. A particularly positive point was the improvement made on signposting via phone, as we can now give out direct line and on-call contact numbers rather than patients having to navigate their way through switchboard connections.
Organisations working together in a joined-up approach has led to an increase in the number of patients receiving help overall, as individuals who may have been missed initially could be picked up by referrals from our Wellness Hub.
Anonymous feedback from individuals who have been helped by the service shows that they are grateful for the support they have received.