Resolving health inequalities homeless and vulnerable people experience

15:30 - 16:00

Homeless and other vulnerable people have an increased prevalence of both short- and long-term illness compared to the general population. Homeless people: • are less likely to access healthcare early enough and are more likely to attend A&E or be admitted to hospital • have more eye problems than the general population, and are exposed to risk factors such as poor nutrition, trauma, smoking, drug abuse and infections • may feel uncomfortable in community practice as they may not have an address to give • need support, including optometric care, at this crisis point in their lives There is a need for new national healthcare pathways to meet the ocular health and refractive needs of homeless people.

Learning Objectives

  • To understand the difficulties that a person experiencing homelessness faces with accessing eye care.
  • To understand the health and visual problems that homeless people experience and how to respond more effectively to meet their concerns.
  • To improve the understanding of what factors should be taken into consideration when examining and communicating with patients experiencing homelessness.

Elaine Styles, Chair of Trustees, Vision Care for Homeless People