Caritas Anchor House

Working at the heart of homelessness

Laying foundations for continued wellbeing

Our News in Brief

Laying foundations for continued wellbeing

8th September 2020
At Caritas Anchor House, we aim to promote wellbeing and encourage our residents to take charge of their health.

Our supportive care package also reconnects residents with healthcare services, as experiencing homelessness can make it difficult to access routine medical care. Through our partner links with NHS Trusts and other healthcare providers, our residents have access to crucial screening and testing for conditions that they may be more vulnerable to. This means that medical staff can find and treat the condition early, reducing the risk of long term damage.

On Wednesday, 12 August, 4 testing sessions took place for staff and residents at Caritas Anchor House, including screening for Hepatitis C, TB and HIV. Staff promoted the testing by placing posters around the building and putting leaflets under residents’ doors. The testing took place in the car park, making it easily accessible for residents and ensuring a good take up rate. For the first time, routine Covid-19 tests were also available - these tests were purely for screening purposes but could help to identify a potential outbreak. 44 residents and staff took the test and all tests returned negative. It remains the case that Caritas Anchor House has not had a single confirmed case of COVID-19 within the resident group to date, and we are determined to ensure that this continues.

More recently, the Find and Treat team returned to train some of our Assessment Hub staff in how to screen new residents for Hepatitis C on arrival. As a non-invasive screening, it’s easy to carry out in a Covid-safe way and will help staff to identify cases immediately. If left untreated, Hepatitis C can cause serious damage to the liver over many years, but most people who receive treatment will have a normal life expectancy. Being able to identify the infection early will help to create the best possible outcomes for residents.

James Grech, Deputy Team Manager, said "Our residents' health is a top priority at Caritas Anchor House and it was brilliant to see so many of them engaging with the Find and Treat team. By taking part in these screenings, we can help residents to get the medical care they need. We also hope that this will build their confidence in engaging with healthcare services and lay the foundations for their continued wellbeing."

Regular screening and testing is just one of the ways we're making sure that Caritas Anchor House remains a safe environment for everyone. In October, flu jabs will available for all staff and residents to protect them during flu season. The Find and Treat team will return for more on-site testing later in the year, and we'll continue to work with them to prevent an outbreak of coronavirus. By building strong relationships with both our residents and local health teams, we're helping to ensure that our residents can stay on track with their health and wellbeing.

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