Dr Heaslip, Dr Green, Stephen Richer (Nursing Science) and Dr Huseyin Dogan (SciTech) with Dr Simkhada (Visiting Faculty) have recently published a paper Use of Technology to Promote Health and Wellbeing of People Who Are Homeless: A Systematic Review examining current published literature around the subjects of homelessness, mobile technology usage and its impact on health.
The review noted that literature indicated that whilst a large percentage of people who are homeless owned a mobile phone or smart phone (around 80%). There were many barriers to the use of mobile technology when you are homeless and these include: physical damage to phones, theft, inability to charge phones, lack of data and the limited availability of Wi-Fi connections. The health impacts of mobile usage are largely associated with ‘social connectedness’. This not only included staying in touch with family and friends but also maintaining a connection to popular culture, social media, news, music and films. Current research indicated that this sense of social connection was considered of high importance by individuals who are homeless. As well as a social connection, people who are homeless found technology as having other potential health benefits, such as signposting to available support, reminders for appointments, prompts for taking medication, health information and online health advice.
Going forward, we are currently analysing data from an extensive 100 participant, 29 item questionnaire that has been carried out with people who are homeless locally as well as analysing qualitative data from focus groups and one to one interview (n=16 participants). This arm of our research aims to assess the availability, accessibility and utility of services for people who are homeless in the local area as well as further exploring the opportunities and challenges in utilising mobile phones to access health and social care services. Results will be published in due course and detailed in our next blog.
The Dorset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Local Authorities, supported by the Public Health team, are very keen to build on the success of the 2012 Olympics in Dorset and have developed a legacy fund to provide a significant resource for investment in innovative and evidence based local projects in Dorset, Bournemouth and Poole.
The aim of the legacy fund is to create a legacy and inspire communities by investing in projects that focus on the particularly vulnerable, marginalised and deprived communities in order to address health inequalities which exist in Dorset.
- Target vulnerable people or marginalised communities
- Tackle identified health inequalities
- Inspire people towards a healthier lifestyle
- Have a lasting legacy
The next round of funding is now open and closes on 30 January 2015.
For more information click here.
(BUDI were successful in round 1 with 2 projects awarded through this fund – Bournemouth Symphony Orchestera and Dorset Fire & Rescue Service. Click here for funded awards to date project reference 36 & 43 – PDF at the bottom of the page.)
Funding is available under the Progress 2011 theme. Your proposal must contribute to developing and testing socially innovative approaches to policy priorities in the context of the Europe 2020 Strategy and the Open Method of Coordination on social protection and social inclusion. To be selected under this call, projects should focus on either of the following selected themes, keeping in mind in all cases the gender dimension of the issue:
• Social inclusion of vulnerable groups (such as Roma people, migrants and their descendants, homeless and young people)
• Quality of childcare services (this has great impacts on child well-being, but also on gender equality, poverty in jobless households, employment rates, birth rates and on long term sustainable development by supporting the development of human potential)
• Active and healthy ageing (this depends on various factors, such as life habits, working conditions or urban policies and represents a major condition in order to extend working lives and to reduce social protection expenditures)
• Transition from education to work for the youth (as only a multidimensional policy approach combining actions on the education framework, the labour market, families can be successful)
Deadlines: 15.12.11 and 30.03.12