We know from learning over the past three years that some people in Croydon prefer to access health and care advice in a place familiar to them. Partners in Croydon have worked together to offer a total of 45 clinics and health and wellbeing days in Croydon this winter, bringing services to the heart of the local community.
The NHS South West London vaccination team and the Health Inequalities Steering Group1 worked together to reach refugees and asylum seekers, those experiencing homelessness, and those experiencing substance and alcohol misuse.
Working from soup kitchens to places of worship, the NHS South West London vaccination team delivered Covid-19 and flu vaccines and were able to address any concerns or questions people had about the vaccines. Out of those that had their Covid-19 vaccine, 20% had their first ever dose.
Volunteers from Croydon BME Forum and Asian Resource Centre of Croydon offered health checks and referrals for further care, along with the health team from St George’s University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust who provided tests for liver damage and bloodborne viruses including Hepatitis C, Hepatitis B and HIV.
I think it’s great to see people that we wouldn’t see otherwise in the hospital and I think it’s very important we bring these valuable services to them and give them the help that they need.”James, Viral Hepatitis Treatment Coordinator at St George’s University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust.
Free food and free clothes were also offered creating a warm atmosphere for attendees to have their vaccinations and health checks while finding out information about local health services.
Working together in this way has helped NHS South West London to understand the barriers some face in accessing healthcare. NHS South West London has made invaluable relationships with local people which will continued to be nurtured, giving the local community the opportunity to ask questions about their health in a non-clinical setting.