Our Homeless Health Matters campaign called on local and national health leaders to better understand and meet the health needs of people who are homeless. Evidence shows that homeless people have some of the poorest health in our society, and often face difficulties in accessing healthcare when they need it.
From October 2014, supporters asked their local Health and Wellbeing Board to sign our Charter for Homeless Health as a first step towards improving homeless health. Stepping up our campaign to the national level, we launched a petition in June 2015 urging the Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, to prioritise homeless health.
We wrapped up the campaign on October 2015 with an event in parliament following a tour around central London with our petition as a giant prescription. Read more about the campaign finale here.
42 Health and Wellbeing Boards around England have signed our Homeless Health Charter – that’s more than 1 in 4!
The boards that have signed so far include: Bath and North East Somerset, Blackburn with Darwen, Birmingham, Bradford, Brent, Brighton & Hove, Bristol, Camden, Cheshire West & Chester, Cornwall, Coventry, Durham, Ealing, Essex, Gateshead, Greenwich, Halton, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hampshire, Haringey, Herefordshire, Hounslow, Islington, Kent, Lambeth, Leeds, Leicester, Lewisham, Luton, Merton, Newcastle, Rochdale, Sheffield, Tameside, Telford and Wrekin, Tower Hamlets, Walsall, Waltham Forest, Wigan, Wirral, Wokingham and Worcestershire.
Plans made by these boards affect the health of a quarter of England’s population: over 14 million people!
Read more about the success of the campaign so far in our impact report.
12,224 supporters signed our petition to the Health Secretary – a record for our campaigns!
Public Health Minister, Jane Ellison MP, received the petition at an event in parliament, where she acknowledged that more needs to be done to improve homeless health, saying: “we don’t want to see the health gap widen...It is the core business of government to tackle health inequalities”.
More recently, we received a letter from Jane Ellison on behalf of the Health Secretary. In it she says: "I am grateful for St Mungo's Broadway in highlighting the links between homelessness and health". The letter details some steps the government is taking to improve homeless health, and concludes: "I hope this reassures St Mungo's Broadway and those who have signed the...petition that we are committed to improving the health of homeless people".
Read more about delivering our national petition here.
Signing the Charter and delivering the petition is only the first step. We’ll continue pressing for change through our policy and influencing work until homeless health improves.