HARP Hosts Health Clinic for Second Covid-19 Vaccination For Southend’s Homeless

HARP Hosts Health Clinic for Second Covid-19 Vaccination For Southend’s Homeless

HARP, Southend’s homeless charity, has hosted another health clinic at its Bradbury Day Centre, so that local people experiencing homelessness can have their second Covid-19 vaccination.

126 vaccinations were given to people who are homeless or recovering from homelessness at the clinic on Thursday 15th April. Most of these were second vaccinations, with some people receiving their first dose. The health clinic also provided testing for Hepatitis C and diabetes, with visitors able to speak to Brook, the new sexual health service in Southend, and a TB clinical nurse specialist from Southend Hospital. Information on smoking cessation was also available.

The clinic was provided in partnership with the Southend Integrated Healthcare for the Homeless (SIHH) project, a dedicated integrated healthcare service for people experiencing homelessness in Southend.

Gary Turner, HARP’s Director of Service Operations, said: “It’s been fantastic to see our Bradbury Day Centre buzzing again after being in hiatus during the lockdown. HARP is committed to helping people facing homelessness to access the life-saving healthcare they need such as the coronavirus vaccination. The sheer number of people vaccinated is a testament to how partnership working can make a real difference in the lives of some of Southend’s most vulnerable people and I’d like to thank our local Primary Care Trust, the NHS CCG and Southend-on-Sea Borough Council for helping to make this happen.”

The SIHH project aims to prevent the ‘revolving door’ often faced by people experiencing homelessness, where they receive treatment and support briefly, only to end up back on the streets. People who are homeless are also more likely to face underlying health problems that make them more at risk of the more severe effects of the Covid-19 virus and other serious illnesses.

Dr Haroon Siddique, local GP and lead for the SIHH project, said: “It’s not often that we get the opportunity to have so many people from the homelessness community in one place. So we felt it was important to provide additional services and information alongside the second Covid-19 vaccination. Activities like this help to ensure that people facing homelessness are able to access vital health services that they might otherwise go without.”

You can find out more about the charity’s work on HARP’s website at www.harpsouthend.org.uk

Jamie Langstone