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The School Clinic Morley Street Brighton BN2 9DH

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All about

Arch Healthcare

Brighton & Hove has had a specialist homeless surgery since 1998 when, in response to rising numbers of people experiencing homelessness in the city, Dr Chris Sargeant opened a pioneering health facility in the School Clinic on Morley Street. Over the years, we have come to occupy a leading role in homeless healthcare and we have been given an “outstanding in all areas” rating by the CQC – offering some of the highest standards of healthcare in the country.

Watch our 5 year anniversary video here

Arch Health CIC was set up as a Community Interest Company to address the health needs of people experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity in the city.

In 2016 Arch took over the running of the Morley Street GP surgery and the homeless health engagement service for Brighton & Hove (see a short article about our early days, here). In February 2022 we celebrated our fifth anniversary. Watch a short film here, all about us and what we’re doing in the city

Dr Chris Sargeant (Director) says: “Arch Health CIC was founded because we believe that no- one should be denied the highest standards of healthcare, whatever their circumstances.”

Those who make up the Arch Board have first-hand experience as clinicians and managers in providing services for homeless people and those from other marginalised groups such as gypsies and travellers, vulnerable asylum seekers and sex workers. We are determined to provide everyone from these groups a standard of care at least as good as that expected by the general population, and to make the care accessible, restorative, and compassionate.

Arch supports individual patients to access their care on a daily basis but also works with partners to make constant improvements to the excellent support systems which are available in the city.

The original Arch board members in 2016, sitting around a table having a meeting

The original Arch board members, at a kitchen meeting in 2016, ahead of the set up of the surgery

The surgery service includes:

  1. An in-reach service to Royal Sussex County and Mill View hospitals. The aim of our hospital in-reach team is to improve health outcomes by supporting patients to stay in hospital for the duration of the required treatment (including starting them on substitute prescribing and alcohol detox when admitted), managing the time of their discharge, registering them with a GP if needed, liaising with housing services to ensure no-one is discharged onto the streets, making referrals to services like Adult Social Care, Integrated Nursing Team, Justlife and the substance misuse service who all help support people once they are discharged back to the community.
  2. An engagement service offering non-clinical support to patients . The Justlife Heath Engagement Team work proactively, enabling patients to obtain and maintain suitable accommodation and access health and community services. Their intensive work is vital as they support people to build their confidence, take ownership of their situation, improve their health and engage positively with the wider community
  3. Community Outreach: The Arch clinical team are actively involved in outreach to various contexts across the city including hostels, day centres, temporary accommodation and onto the streets. Outreach services enable our team to provide much needed care to people who seldom access healthcare services.
  4. City Wide Leadership: Arch provides specialist health and clinical input in a variety of strategic areas for the city, working closely with other healthcare providers, third sector partners, the city council and the CCG. Read more about our work during the Covid pandemic and our work on health improvement project Common Ambition which illustrate our leadership in city-wide partnerships.

In all of our work, we are driven by our Vision and Values. These drive us to provide the best possible service to our patients, and to continue to improve our practice.

Arch is part of the East and Central Brighton Primary Care Network (PCN). This is a collaboration between 8 local GP surgeries, to share expertise and resources, and to develop new services, according to the needs of the neighbourhood.

Our PCN is part of the larger Brighton and Hove Federation. This organisation brings together PCNs and builds on their collaborative work, looking at the bigger picture and developing new models of care for the city.

As a new start up, the Arch board chose the model of Community Interest Company (CIC) as the best vehicle to deliver the kind of care required. According to the CIC Regulator website “A Community Interest Company (CIC) is a limited company, with special additional features, created for the use of people who want to conduct a business or other activity for community benefit, and not purely for private advantage.” This model is the best best fit for Arch Healthcare because it has all the rigour of running a professional business but all its assets are ‘locked’ and cannot be used for any other purpose than to benefit of the community which the organisation exists to support. Regardless of any surplus which is made by the company no dividends are paid to the directors. Importantly as a social enterprise Arch is entitled to apply for grants from various trusts, receive direct charitable donations and raise additional cash through trading. These multiple income streams are vital in building a surgery experience beyond the limits of commissioned services.

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