Tina, a Southend resident, experienced life-altering support through the Mid and South Essex Integrated Care System. Previously homeless for three years, Tina struggled with fragmented healthcare services that treated her physical and mental health in isolation. Her ‘Moment that Mattered’ was discovering holistic care at HARP, a local service.
In conventional settings, homeless patients like Tina often fall through the cracks, only seeking healthcare in critical conditions at GP surgeries or A&E. However, HARP’s approach is different. It integrates healthcare professionals within its framework, offering face-to-face holistic assessments in collaboration with mental health and addiction support services. This innovative model helps clients like Tina to receive more personalised care, avoid duplicative procedures, and tackle health issues early on.
Beyond HARP, community support officers, outreach workers, and voluntary sector partners contribute street intelligence to ensure the service’s extended reach. They operate within the community at various touchpoints like soup kitchens and food banks, thus making support more accessible.
Tina’s story is the first in the ‘Moments that Matter’ campaign, celebrating integrated care that genuinely improves lives. Through collective efforts, we’re closing the gaps in our healthcare system, enabling better outcomes for everyone.
In mid and south Essex we’re exploring the benefits of joined up working in health and care through the eyes of local people.
Tina lives in Southend. Her moment that mattered was receiving holistic care instead of falling through the gaps with problems and illnesses being treated in isolation.
“Hi, my name is Tina and I am being supported by HARP at the moment. I have been homeless for three years. She’s helped me out with my mental and physical health and yeah, it’s a good service and I’m pleased that I’ve had access to it.”
Homeless patients are hard to reach and will often not attend for health care support until it’s very serious, often ending up at their GP surgery or in A&E in a crisis. Having health care professionals based here within HARP where many of the homeless access help enables face-to-face contact to provide a holistic health assessment linking with mental health colleagues from both the roughly sleeper initiative, along with colleagues at STARS who provide addiction support, supports this holistic approach. Street intelligence from outreach workers from HARP, Street Link, community support officers, and the voluntary sector provides us with round the clock information ensuring a wider reach. Our service works within the community in soup kitchens, shelters, hostels and food banks, ensuring easy access to support.
A joined up approach led by health services will avoid duplication of information and enable the client to gain the right support more effectively. This joined up approach has brought the different parts of our health and care system closer together to bring: more personalised care, tailoring support to the individual. Preventing ill-health, to help people take control and tackle issues early on and, driving better outcomes, tackling avoidable unfair differences in health and wellbeing between different groups of people.
Mid and South Essex Integrated Care System. Together we can make the moments that matter.