A powerful new film is being shared with NHS teams across the country to prompt reflection and conversations about the challenges faced by people living with homelessness. This is part of an ongoing commitment to provide compassionate and inclusive care for all.
Commissioned by NHS England, ‘Less?’ movingly documents the personal stories from Jamesy, Jeff, Julian and Mandy who have faced and overcome homelessness. In this film, they share their experiences and interactions with health services in the UK.
“A warm smile, a friendly word can make a massive impact on a person to relax, to begin to trust, to begin again to believe that a person wants to help,” says Mandy in ‘Less?’.
At the end of January, NHS England Chief Nursing Officer, Dame Ruth May and NHS Confederation Chair, Lord Victor Adebowale took part in a panel discussion in London alongside the four film participants to launch the film.
Lord Victor Adebowale, Chair of the NHS Confederation, said:
“This film reminds us what’s important. The NHS and social care system was set up to provide care for people at the end of the inverse care law. Homelessness is a litmus test of our ability to treat and help those people and this film is telling us that we need to do better.”
Among the core values enshrined in the NHS Constitution are delivering compassionate care to all and recognising that everyone counts. With rising homelessness adding to growing demand for services, those supporting the new film say it can play an important role in ensuring these values are maintained.
Following its launch, ‘Less?’ is being shared with NHS integrated care boards across the country to prompt conversations and reflection with staff as part of the drive to foster a compassionate and inclusive health service.
Prof Bola Owolabi, Director – Healthcare Inequalities Improvement, NHS England, said:
“Members of inclusion health groups, such as those facing, or at risk of, homelessness, are most at risk of experiencing health inequalities. As a result, accessing care may be more challenging, sometimes due to negative past experiences, as shown in this film. This film is a way we can share the lived experience of those facing homelessness so that we can raise awareness of the challenges they face and drive change towards an inclusive health service for all.”
“In addition, our Core20PLUS5 approach provides a framework to drive progress on healthcare inequalities among people experiencing homelessness and other inclusion health groups.”
“We have recently developed a suite of resources to ensure consistent high-quality care in our urgent and emergency care settings for people experiencing homelessness. Over the next year, we will be providing further tools and support to help integrated care boards and partnerships to better serve people experiencing homelessness and other groups that face social exclusion, building on good practice that is already evident.”
‘Less?’ was directed by CJ Barton and produced by Dr Caroline Shulman. The film was created in partnership with the homelessness charities Pathway and Groundswell. For more information about the film and to view it, please visit the film’s website: https://journeystohealth.co.uk/.