Hundreds of people helped by life-saving Health on The Streets (HoTS)

by LukeAdmin

Ros Oakey (RN), Melanie Bryan (Outreach Worker), Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks MP, Joel Smeaton (Team Leader), Katrina Russell (Registered Nurse), Aaron Cannon (Executive Manager Primary Health and Community)

The Health on The Streets (HoTS) team is seeing first-hand the impact of low housing supply, high rents, and property prices on homelessness on the Central Coast.

The HoTS service, celebrating its two- year anniversary this month, was funded as a pilot by the Federal Government in 2020 and is managed by Coast and Country Primary Care (CCPC).

“Over the past two years the HoTS team have become a well-known part of the Central Coast community, as they drive from one end of the coast to the next, providing care to people experiencing homelessness,” said CCPC CEO, Kathy Beverley.

“Our HoTS team have continued to provide this service to our community through the current health pandemic and through the challenges of the recent weeks with heavy rain and flooding.

“The team is certainly experiencing an increase in referrals in recent weeks, and over the past two years our outreach workers have assisted 112 individuals to be permanently or temporarily housed,” she said.

“Our service is truly unique as it is nurse-led, supported by outreach workers and we provide culturally respectful holistic care, helping people with their immediate health needs, but also providing referrals to GPs and other services including Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol. We work in partnership with NSW Police, NSW Ambulance and NSW Health.

“We also support people sleeping rough with referrals to local housing services, refuges, NDIS and other outreach support services,” she said.

“No one day is typical for the team, who can move quickly to respond to referrals mainly from Central Coast Council rangers, various community organisations, businesses, and community members.

“A major part of our service involves building rapport and trust with our clients, which allows us to then make referrals to appropriate programs and services, said Ms Beverley.

“We also have regular hubs at Mary Macs, Woy Woy and at Coast Shelter in Gosford.

At the hubs our Registered Nurses provide comprehensive health assessments including:

  • Primary Health
  • Public/Sexual Health
  • Mental Health
  • Drug & Alcohol

Federal Liberal Member for Robertson, Lucy Wicks MP said she is proud to be part of a government supporting a bespoke solution to create better health and wellbeing outcomes for people in our community who experience homelessness.

“The outcomes from the HoTS program over the last two years really speak for themselves. HoTS has made a difference in the lives of people who have fallen through the cracks and not been able to access this kind of care in other ways.

“I want to thank the HoTS team for their dedication, compassion and care for the most vulnerable in our community.”
Two Year Achievements

  • 475 individuals engaged with directly
  • 2700+ hours of outreach
  • 112 individuals permanently or temporarily housed
  • 1647 clinical interventions by nurses
  • 970 clinical referrals to external supports
  • 40 NDIS applications
  • 18 Psychology referrals
  • 42 GP referrals
  • 8 direct Drug and Alcohol referrals
  • 57 occasions of service for Drug and Alcohol harm minimisation
  • 3 direct mental health admissions
  • 383 blood tests
  • 25 Hepatitis C treatments
  • 52 Hepatitis B vaccines
  • 17 COVID-19 positive patients
  • 36 COVID vaccines

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