The HealthBus GP Service was launched in December 2016 by Dr Maggie Kirk of Providence Surgery. It offers easily accessible healthcare for people sleeping rough in Bournemouth and enables timely and relatively low-cost interventions and preventative healthcare at the point of need, thus saving the NHS thousands of pounds.
The service is charitably run and supported by Dr Ni’man & Providence Surgery, YMCA Bournemouth and St Stephens Church, Bournemouth, with sponsorship courtesy of Howard Hughes Business Management, Green Tambourine, the Nationwide Community Benefit Fund, Public Health Dorset and Bourne Asset Management.
Where to find the HealthBus
The HealthBus is parked outside St Stephen’s Church in Bournemouth every Thursday from 9am to 12.30pm. No appointment is necessary.
Why is it needed?
Shockingly, the average life expectancy of a homeless person is just 47 for men and 43 for women and, as reported in a recent article in the Guardian, new research reveals that homeless people in England are 60 times more likely to visit A&E in a year than the general population.
There are a number of reasons why rough sleepers find it difficult to access regular healthcare. This includes, but is not limited to, being asked to leave GP waiting rooms because of their appearance, hygiene or behaviour, or – contrary to NHS guidelines – being refused registration because they have no address.
Nationwide Community Grants Programme
With the support fof YMCA Bournemouth, the HealthBus recently received significant recognition of the value of its work when it was awarded a grant of £47,993 from the Nationwide Community Grants programme. The money will fund GP costs, insurance, nursing salary, drug/alcohol and mental health specialists and equipment.
The Nationwide Community Grants programme awards grants of between £5,000 and £50,000 towards housing-related projects that support the most vulnerable and which make a positive change in a local area. It awards up to £5.5 million each year to 11 regions across the UK..
How You Can Help!
The HealthBus is funded through donations and grants. If you would like to donate directly to the HealthBus or volunteer your time, you can find out more at www.healthbus.co.uk
The HealthBus outreach service reaches up to 200 homeless individuals annually.
The first mention of a YMCA in Bournemouth is in 1879 when it was housed in rented rooms above the J E Beale shop in Old Christchurch Road. It has served the population of Dorset for 140 years!
Get in touch
St Stephen’s Church
St Stephen’s Way