Free liver scans and HIV checks being offered to homeless people in Northamptonshire

Homeless people in Northamptonshire are being offered free health checks as part of a new partnership scheme being run by the county council.
Homeless people in Northamptonshire are being offered free health checks as part of a new partnership scheme being run by the county council.

Homeless people in Northamptonshire are being invited to take part in free health screening drop-in sessions.

The county council's public health team and partners will be providing a number of these sessions across the county during December, following discussions with the Hope Centre in Northampton.

People attending will be screened for tuberculosis, Hepatitis A, B and C, and HIV. In addition, they will be offered immunisations for Hepatitis A and B, and vaccinations for flu. There will also be an opportunity for people to have a liver scan and receive a general health check.

The aim of the sessions is to help reduce health complications among the homeless population and reduce preventable emergency hospital admissions.

Cabinet member for health and wellbeing, Cecile Irving Smith, said: "We are delighted to support this collaborative initiative that will not only help reduce the incidence of TB locally and address the low hepatitis C detection rate.

"It will also help to address the high number of hospital admissions of those with liver diseases due to Hepatitis B or C complications."

The clinicians will be able to see between 25 and 35 people at each of the health screening sessions.

There may be a small number of people found to need treatment in relation to TB or Hepatitis C, who will be provided to get stable accommodation and complete their treatment successfully.

The latest figures from Shelter showed that Wellingborough, Northampton and Kettering had significantly higher rates of homelessness compared to the rest of the East Midlands.

Recent statistics show homeless people in the UK have a much higher likelihood than the general population of having tuberculosis, hepatitis C and HIV.

As a result, this unique collaboration between a variety of local and regional partners has been established.

The screening and vaccination drop-in sessions will be held around the county as follows:

Northampton - December 3 & 4, The Hope Centre, Northampton, NN1 3DS

Wellingborough - December 5, Nations Wellingborough Centre, 42 Oxford Street, NN8 4JG

Rushden - December 6, Rushden Full Gospel Church, 60 High Street South, NN10 0QX

Daventry - December 7, Daventry Methodist Church, 6 Golding Cl, Daventry NN11 4FH

Corby - December 10, The Old Police Station on Elizabeth Street, NN17 1SH

Towcester - 14, The Methodist Church in Towcester, 11 Brackley Rd, Towcester, NN12 6DH

Kettering - December 17, Salvation Army, 66 Rockingham Rd, Kettering NN16 8JU