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Fiona Shows Homeless Health Matters

Fiona Mactaggart MP for Slough backed charity St Mungo’s Broadway to improve the poor health experienced by homeless people. Fiona attended an event in Westminster where clients and supporters of the homelessness charity delivered a 12,000 strong petition of names calling on the Government to urgently improve healthcare for homeless people.

St Mungo’s Broadway launched the Homeless Health Matters campaign last October with a report Homeless Health Matters: the case for change, which highlighted that:

·         73% of homeless people report a physical health problem

·         80% report a mental health problem

·         the average age of death for a homeless person is 47

·         53% of homeless women, and 34% of homeless men have attempted suicide at least once

·         Many homeless people struggle to register with a GP, often due to not being able to provide a permanent address

·         The annual cost of hospital treatment for homeless people is at least £85m a year

Fiona said: “It’s wrong that people who are homeless experience such poor health, but despite this often struggle to get the healthcare they need. The government needs to act on this petition to change things and encourage health services locally to ensure they are accessible and welcoming to the most vulnerable in our society.  I have asked our local Clinical Commissioning Group and the Health and Wellbeing Board to consider how to improve access to healthcare for homeless people in Slough.  It’s a big challenge in an area like this where per capita funding is below target.”

Howard Sinclair, St Mungo’s Broadway Chief Executive, said: “Homelessness hurts. Homeless people have some of the highest levels of poor health within our society. Our Homeless Health Matters campaign demands action to improve the health of some of the most vulnerable. Thank you to all the parliamentarians and other supporters who joined us in Westminster to demonstrate their support for this important issue.”