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Rochdale and Oldham

Supporting your recovery every step of the way

Monthly Rochdale soup kitchen event helps keep people with substance misuse issues safe

Launched in 2017, the Homeless Alliance Response Team (HART), delivers vital protection for the homeless. The project aims to provide borough-wide healthcare to those who may not be able to access it, due to various unfortunate circumstances, and also bridges a gap between patients and general practitioners.

Every month, Turning Point takes part in the soup kitchen event, organised together with Soup Kitchen Rochdale. The event is supported by the Pass It On scheme volunteers from Sanctuary Trust, and supports people who struggle to live life free from alcohol and or substances, to keep them as safe as possible.

Julian, Community Development Worker at our ROAR service, attends the event with resources to provide drug and alcohol harm reduction and overdose prevention training to the most complex users, many of whom do not access any mainstream services. Naloxone kits can be provided to meet the need to prevent unnecessary deaths due to opiate overdose. Julian also fast-tracks and prioritises rapid access into ROAR for treatment and full healthcare assessment.

There are now 63 homeless people who are seen by HART volunteers on a regular basis and these are supported and signposted to other services as needed. The volunteer service for HART is a vital service for this vulnerable group of people, who can have complex physical and mental health needs. Dozens of GPs, nurses, allied health professionals including therapists, clinical pharmacists and mental health workers have all volunteered to offer their clinical services to support the scheme.

The free service includes;

  • Face to face advice and assessments
  • Health screening such as blood pressure and pulse testing
  • Measuring weight
  • Medication and prescription reviews
  • Wound care
  • Vaccinations
  • Mental health screening
  • Drug and alcohol screening

The scheme will also offer the individuals a ‘healthcare passport’, to be carried by the individual, which contains a brief medical summary, with details such as vaccination dates, to help other health and social care providers.

If you are a healthcare professional and wish to find out more about how you can volunteer to join the HART scheme, please contact Jackie Taylor, Head of Clinical Services, Rochdale Health Alliance on jackietaylor4@nhs.net

As part of ambitious plans to help tackle rough sleeping in the city region, the Bed Every Night initiative has been launched to provide accommodation for every single person who sleeps rough in Greater Manchester. Members of the public can make donations at www.bedeverynight.co.uk, where they can also track the progress of fundraising.

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