Home > National COVID-19 homeless service user experience survey. Report of findings.

Health Service Executive. National Social Inclusion Office. (2020) National COVID-19 homeless service user experience survey. Report of findings. Dublin: Health Service Executive.

PDF (National COVID-19 homeless service user experience survey)

People who experience homelessness in Ireland often have complex and multiple health needs including mental health and addiction needs, have higher mortality rates compared to the general population and use hospital inpatient and emergency services significantly more than housed people. Due to stigma associated with homelessness and the overlapping physical, mental health and drug & alcohol problems often experienced by persons who are homeless, the homeless population will often experience significant barriers to accessing appropriate healthcare services and using these optimally.

These known risk factors led to a proactive and preventative response by the health and housing sectors since March 2020. In the housing sector, local authorities put in place significant additional emergency accommodation to allow for the necessary social distancing in facilities and shielding/cocooning for the most vulnerable. The HSE, HPSC and voluntary service providers introduced a range of precautions aimed at minimising the risk of infection among service users and staff, including hygiene arrangements, limiting the need for travel and movement between services and the provision of additional supports to monitor and manage the health of those in shielding/cocooning and self-isolation facilities.

Results from this survey gives a voice to our service users and will support evidence-based care and improve the quality and safety of care to the service user. Findings will not only help to inform service planning throughout the ongoing pandemic but will also provide guidance in relation to ongoing HSE service planning and quality service improvement in order to achieve an integrated and person-centred health service system for those experiencing homelessness across Ireland.

p. 11 Drug and Alcohol use
226 out of 408 respondents (or 55%) report that they use drugs and/or alcohol. Of these 47% said that their drug or alcohol use in the last year impacted their activities of daily living (ADLs), compared with just 35% who said that drugs or alcohol impacted their ADL’s in the last month (see Figures 4.3.7 and 4.3.8)....

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