National health and homelessness event held in Edinburgh

housing health homelessness stockThe Scottish Health and Homelessness Conference 2017 is being held today hosted by NHS Health Scotland at the Surgeon’s Hall in Edinburgh.

Attended by over 150 delegates, the event aims to bring people together from different sectors to hear from key speakers about recent research and practice and to discuss their role in the prevention and mitigation of homelessness.

The intention is to support individuals and organisations to work together to improve the poor health outcomes and barriers to access experienced by people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

The conference will be opened by minister for local government and housing, Kevin Stewart, and Sir Harry Burns, former chief medical officer, will close the conference with a keynote address.

Other speakers include Karyn McCluskey, chief executive of the newly-formed Community Justice Scotland agency, who will speak about the links between housing, homelessness and community justice as well as outline the ways in which housing professionals can engage effectively with the new agency. During the day, delegates will also hear about the experiences of organisations who have adopted a psychologically informed approach to delivering housing services.

Gerry McLaughlin, chief executive of NHS Health Scotland, said: “Homelessness affects far too many people in Scotland and is a fundamental cause of health inequalities. Professionals in health and housing need to work together to support people to avoid homelessness and the poor health that can be both a cause and a consequence of homelessness.

“Health and social care integration and the introduction of Integrated Joint Boards has brought housing and health services closer together. This conference gives delegates an opportunity to discuss how they are working together across the country and to share good practice.”

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