HC Deb 07 January 2003 vol 397 c194W
Mr. Paul Marsden

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what assessment he has made of the health effects of homelessness; and what progress has been made to improve health care for homeless people following publication of the homelessness directorate's document, "More than a Roof?. [86251]

Ms Blears

The health needs of homeless people have been assessed in various studies, including the Acheson inquiry into inequalities in health and the homelessness directorate's strategy, "More than a Roof?. "More than a Roof? set out a new approach to tackling homelessness, focused on the problems homeless people face as much as on places where they live. It identified addressing health needs as critical to helping homeless people, as well as in preventing homelessness.

Homeless people will have benefited particularly from measures to improve access to health care, such as the more than 1,300 personal medical service pilots and 42 national health service walk-in centres which this Government have introduced. They have been identified as a priority for cross-Government action in the "Cross-cutting Review on Health Inequalities", published on 20 November 2002.