MP demands action on healthcare for homeless people

Call comes as statistics reveal Birmingham tops the list of homeless deaths.

Birmingham MP Liam Byrne has this week written to the head of the Care Quality Commission to demand transformation of care for homeless people as new statistics reveal the city tops table for deaths of homeless people.

New ONS statistics reveal at least 75 people died in the city over four years as safety nets crumble for people sleeping rough.

Liam Byrne’s research shows a nearly 1000% increase in people sleeping rough in Birmingham since 2010. Doctors in Birmingham have now been in touch with Mr Byrne to point out that NHS services for homeless people are currently rated ‘inadequate’, and the contract for primary care services for homeless people is about to run out at the end of March without any clarity over the services that will be taking its place.

The latest report from the Care Quality Commission rated services for homeless people in Birmingham as “inadequate” overall, as well as not meeting basic standards for being safe, effective, responsive or well-led.

Commenting on the release, the Hodge Hill MP said: “It is simply unacceptable we have more homeless deaths than any other part of the country. I have been warning about this moral emergency for months. The safety net of addiction services is falling apart and now we learn doctors have real concerns about primary care for the people sleeping on our streets.

“Birmingham Council is doing everything in its power to combat this crisis, but with the equivalent of four 20-storey tower blocks presenting as homeless each month, the council urgently needs support from central Government. I will be demanding action from the Secretary of State when I meet with him tomorrow.”