Published: Friday, 20th Nov 2020

Bolton Homeless Outreach Nursing Team Collaborations have been highly commended for a HSJ Award for Best Partnership Solution Improving Patient Safety.

Bolton NHS Foundation Trust’s Homeless Nursing Team and Bolton Council’s Homeless Welfare Team identified that they were seeing patients on the streets, who did not attend clinics elsewhere. 

The patients said that they were attending a street kitchen provided by Homeless Aid UK, so the team commenced fortnightly visits. They then contacted St John Ambulance, who provided a clinic facility with one of their mobile treatment units. 

It was then highlighted at complex cohort meetings that this would be an ideal opportunity for housing and drug/alcohol services to do some effective outreach work with a ‘one stop shop’ approach. 

This is now a regular weekly occurrence for the nursing team with fortnightly support from Bolton Council Homeless Welfare team and Greater Manchester Mental Health Assertive Outreach team.

The judge’s comments included:

“This is a strong project with clear goals, and a focus on collaboration across the whole integrated care sector to support health and mental wellbeing. The fact that this service has not required additional costs is admirable and will ensure that this model will be attractive to other similar organisations.”

Fiona Noden, Chief Executive at Bolton NHS Foundation Trust said:

“We were delighted to have been highly commended for this award, recognising the collaborative efforts and dedication of our staff members over the last 12 months. We are committed to delivering improved outcomes for our patients, and to be chosen along the other incredible nominees is a wonderful achievement.  This award has been a tremendous boost to staff at the Trust during these unprecedented times, and I am sure it will bolster our continued efforts to improve our services.”

Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Environmental Services Delivery, Cllr Adele Warren, added:

“This award is a wonderful recognition of what our public services in Bolton can achieve by working together. 
“Our homeless welfare team worked closely with nurses at the FT and St John Ambulance to develop an innovative service which has made a real difference to the lives of rough sleepers and homeless people. We knew that getting them to attend clinics can be a real challenge, so the solution was simple: take the clinic to them!
“By taking services directly to where people are we’ve been able to support this vulnerable group to make improvements to their health and wellbeing. It’s a shining example of how we can do things better, without extra costs.”