Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham helped to celebrate the fantastic work being carried out in Salford to improve care and services for homeless people.
Mr Burnham was invited to officially open a new chapter in the life of Salford Primary Care Together’s GP service for homeless people.
The Homeless GP service has been running for many years in the city but recently moved into its new base at Salford Loaves and Fishes in Paddington Close, Pendleton. This means the GP service is now co-located with the charity, which provides meals, activities and support services for homeless people, and other agencies who deliver drugs, alcohol, smoking and accommodation support.
Dr Wan-ley Yeung, Clinical Lead for the GP Homeless Service, said: “This is a significant and important step forward for the practice and the people who use it. Having all services under the same roof at Salford Loaves and Fishes provides many benefits for homeless people.
“I can’t underestimate the importance of people having a single place where they can go to to gain support to help address their poverty and health without having to travel across the city to different services and repeat their often heart breaking stories over and over again.
“The practice has a flexible registration process – without the need for documentation that homeless people don’t always have – so this means we can more proactively and easily identify people using the centre who might benefit from seeing a GP.”
Simon Locke, Chief Executive of Salford Loaves and Fishes, said: “We know our centre is seen as a safe haven and a life-line for many of our clients, be it coming here for a hot meal at lunchtime, change of clothes or simply a bit of company. It makes complete sense to locate the GP practice at the heart of the people it serves and we were glad to welcome the practice into the building.”
On Wednesday, September 4, Mr Burnham joined service users and staff at the centre to see the services and activities on offer and to cut and serve up pieces of celebratory cake for everyone.