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Health and homelessness 2018

By: Shelter Scotland  Published: July 2018


This is one of a series of topic briefings relating to housing and homelessness.  This briefing focuses on a large-scale data-linkage research project by the Scottish Government to analyse the relationship between homelessness and health.

Summary

Key points:

  • For the first time, a large-scale research project by the Scottish Government has linked homelessness and health datasets to show the relationship between homelessness and health.
  • Homelessness and poor health are inextricably linked.
  • As a group, people who have experienced homelessness have many more interactions with health services than those who have no experience of homelessness.  Interactions with some services, particularly those related to alcohol, drugs and mental health, increase in the lead up to a homeless application.
  • People who have experienced homelessness are more likely to have a health condition relating to either drugs, alcohol or mental health - however over half do not have any such health condition.
  • People who have experienced homelessness are more likely to have experienced multiple health conditions relating to drugs, alcohol and mental health. However only a small proportion, 6%, have experience of all these conditions.
  • For people experiencing homelessness more than once, the health activity and problems can be even more drastic.
  • All evidence indicates the value of partnership working between health and homeless services, including the importance of signposting and the colocation of services, to ensure that where homelessness can be prevented, it is, and where it cannot, that people receive the right support at the right time.

 


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