Health screening and vaccination is being provided to homeless people across Northamptonshire again this year through a pioneering project which provides free health screening drop-in sessions.

Northamptonshire County Council’s Public Health team has worked with partners to provide a number f these sessions across the county during October 2019. People attending the sessions will be screened for TB, Hepatitis A, B and C, and HIV, and offered immunisations for Hepatitis A & B, and vaccinations for flu. There will also be an opportunity for people to have a liver scan, and receive a general health check.

The aim of these sessions is to help reduce health complications amongst the homeless population and the risks of premature death, and to reduce preventable emergency hospital admissions.

Research shows that the health and wellbeing of people who experience homelessness is poorer than that of the general population. Recent statistics show homeless people in the UK have a much higher likelihood than the general population of having tuberculosis (prevalence up to 34 times greater in the homeless population), hepatitis C (up to 50 times greater) or HIV (up to 20 times greater).

As a result, this unique collaboration between a variety of local and regional partners has been established. The Public Health Team at Northamptonshire County Council is working closely with Public Health England, regional and local NHS Trusts, CGL (the provider of local substance misuse services), all seven borough and district councils, Oxford Immunotec, and a wide variety of voluntary sector organisations including the Bridge in Northampton and Hope Centre in Northampton, Rushden Night Shelter, and the Salvation Army.