The nurses caring for homeless people during coronavirus pandemic

Nurses are providing essential health checks and treatment to hundreds of homeless people living temporarily in hotels during the Covid-19 outbreak.

Nurses from the Guy’s and St Thomas’ health inclusion team care for more than 300 people at hotels in Waterloo, Clapham and Camberwell.

They look after vulnerable people housed in local hostels, as well as rough sleepers accommodated under the ‘Everyone In’ scheme, set up by the Mayor of London in March to provide safe, temporary accommodation to people sleeping rough during the pandemic.

The nurses advise people sleeping rough how to look after long-term conditions like Hepatitis C and kidney disease, care for wounds, screen for diseases like HIV and give medication.

Nurses also ensure that patients register with a GP, so they can continue to receive healthcare once they move on from the hotel and emergency accommodation provided during the outbreak.

Kendra Schneller, one of the nurses, said: “People who sleep on our streets are entitled to receive healthcare, as is everyone.

“With Covid-19 we are having to adapt how we run our services and to think on our feet more. But we are still here for our patients.”

An estimated 4,200 street homeless people in London were moved into temporary hotel and emergency accommodation during the pandemic, having previously lived on the streets, in night shelters, airports or been ‘sofa surfing’.

 


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