People who are homeless in Surrey are being offered the opportunity to receive flu and Covid jabs this winter, all thanks to a potentially lifesaving initiative by Surrey Heartlands Integrated Care System (ICS) and local partners within the Surrey Homeless Multi-Agency Group.
Working together throughout the winter, they successfully set up outreach flu clinic sessions at hostels and other support settings along with the option of a mobile unit to provide further outreach. The initiative involved reaching out to people who are homeless, many of whom have longer term health conditions, in an attempt to make it easier for them to access the flu vaccine.
People living on the streets or those with no permanent address may come into contact with a large number of people and they are at risk of contracting and passing on coronavirus. Building on the learning gained during the flu vaccination rollout, Surrey Heartlands ICS and Surrey Homeless Multi-Agency Group are now working with services, including voluntary groups, to enable people who are homeless to receive the Covid-19 vaccination.
Sinead Mooney, Surrey County Council Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health said: “People who have no permanent home are some of the most vulnerable in our county and we’re pleased to be able to offer them the Covid-19 vaccine. Thanks to outreach work in the community through partners and voluntary groups, we’ve been giving the flu jab to homeless people this winter and now we’ll be using a similar approach to support access to the Covid-19 jab.”
“We’re committed to tackling health inequalities so that everyone in the community is able to thrive and no one is left behind. This is an example of how we’re working with partners to put that ambition into practice.”
For more information, access the full press release from Surrey Heartlands here.