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Homeless Health conference 2023: thank you all!

Homeless Health conference 2023 - a great success

Our 2023 Homeless Health conference took place on 18th October 2023, at iconic Brighton venue Ironworks. Topics ranged from reflective practice, to the link between autism, ADHD and hypermobility. Over 120 people attended, representing a range of organisations. The day provided opportunities to learn, to connect and to recharge. We asked delegates to check in and check out, letting us know how they were feeling. The results can be seen in these fascinating word clouds.

This event was created in consultation with the Brighton and Hove Common Ambition Steering Group of people with lived experience of homelessness. The group kindly provided this year’s participant wellbeing guide, which was included in the programmes, and provided a blueprint for making this our most accessible and inclusive conference yet.

Common Ambition also provided an exhibition of their new co-produced comic series, illustrating the challenges people experience when accessing healthcare whilst facing homelessness. These are also available to view on their website.

Scroll down to look through all the talk outlines from the day. Slides are available where we have been given permission to share them. If you have any questions. please do not hesitate to contact us, and please do check back in on our website or via social media for next year’s conference.

If you’d like to hear more about future Arch events, please follow us on Eventbrite, for dates of future conferences and bite size tutorials on homeless health. Our next event, on 25th January, is a showcase for people wishing to hear more about us, in order to establish or further develop a specialist homeless health service in their area. Please get in touch if you’d like to hear more about this event.

To stay up to date with events and news for frontline workers in Brighton and Hove, sign up to the Frontline Network’s newsletter. Lots of exciting events coming up!

Arch Healthcare showcase event
Word cloud with feelings of people attending the 2023 Homeless Health Conference, morning versus afternoon. Morning words include nervous, excited, curious, thoughtful, interested, eager. PM words include humbled, proud, inspired, energised, informed, tired, heartened.

2023 conference sessions: outlines and slides

Liver disease: a preventable illness?

This talk explored liver disease, with a focus on ALD (Alcoholic Liver Disease), Hepatitis C and myth busting. It provided tips to engage clients in managing this condition, and provided information on where to go to get support in order to improve health outcomes, including information on Brighton’s specialist community Liver clinic.

Speaker: Mags O’Sullivan

Liver Disease: slides

Frontline network speed networking

This informal session supported Frontline workers to get to know each other and engage in positive discussions about the sector. The session aimed to create connections with other workers, find common ground and come up with ideas for future frontline worker events.

Session leaders: Jules Grenville and Kate Standing

Access slides here

Alcohol related brain damage: how can we best support those affected?

A space for delegates to share experiences of supporting people with alcohol related brain damage and learn together how best to help them. Why can these patients not seem to be able to move out of alcohol dependence and make the changes they say they want to make? How can we look to best support them? How can we, together, advocate for better care and services for people affected? An interactive informal session about alcohol related brain damage. A space for some teaching, some sharing of your experiences and how we can together advocate for a change in support and policy going forward.

Speakers: Drs Tal Lewin and Kate Pitt

ARBD slides

Trans, Non Binary and Intersex: Awareness, Inclusivity and Accessibility

This session supported delegates in understanding the intersectional needs, inequalities and experiences of trans, non-binary and intersex (TNBI) people and gender variant individuals in the UK. The aims were to

  • Gain an understanding of the trans, non-binary, intersex and gender-variant umbrella, including up to date community terminology regularly used throughout the UK.
  • Gather knowledge of TNBI experiences of inequalities faced by the community.
  • Develop a progressive and community-influenced understanding of how we can act individually, and organisationally, to improve inclusion and accessibility for TNBI people.

Speaker: Victoria Oldman

Recognising, Responding to, and Preventing Medical Emergencies

This talk supported delegates in identifying some commonly seen medical conditions for people facing homelessness, with a focus on seizures, overdose and sepsis. It explained how to identify when someone’s health is deteriorating; and to recognise life threatening emergencies. Delegates learned about signs and symptoms associated with common medical conditions, to consider how best to prevent complications and manage deteriorating health.

Speakers: Ruth Reilly and Hannah Bishop

Medical Emergencies slides

Frailty and early onset ageing in homeless health

When in their 30s, 40s, and 50s people who are homeless often experience health problems similar to much older people. This session explored frailty in people facing homelessness, barriers to receiving treatment, and specific challenges that people face when experiencing homelessness and suffering from premature ageing.

Speaker: Caterina Speight

Frailty slides

Frailty and homelessness study

Pathway: Health and housing - a collaborative approach

This presentation introduced the work of the Pathway team, and the outcomes for the patients admitted to hospital, their journeys and why collaboration with all colleagues is critical for a safe discharge. It explained what everyone can do to help with the patient’s journey out of the acute, with an insight into the complexities of the hospital and community coming together to help, and the obstacles that we and the patients face. The aim is to break down barriers and encourage better joined-up working between all the critical services always with the patients needs and wants at the very forefront of any outcomes.

Speakers: Chris Sargeant & Katie Carter

Pathway slides

Autistic, ADHD, Bendy and Homeless

This talk explored how being neurodivergent (particularly if not diagnosed) amplifies the risk of poor life and health outcomes and may also mean that the person is more likely to find themselves without a safe and stable home. The talk was drawn from multiple real-life stories with the hope of illustrating the hazards, delights, resilience, pain and warmth of being a neurodivergent person, “hidden in plain sight” in an overwhelmingly complex world. Speaker Rebecca (Bex) Dew is a nurse consultant for the Pan-Sussex Neurodevelopmental Service, SPFT. She is herself autistic and ADHD, and has lived experience of being homeless.

Speaker: Rebecca Dew


Co-production in Action

The Common Ambition lived experience steering group and project partners delivered a short introduction training to co-production. It was a very experiential session to enabled everyone to be co-producing safely by the end and understanding co-production concepts. The aim was for delegates to experience and understand co-production, and see how to do this safely and effectively, through having a go at co-production themselves. If you are interested in booking co-production training for your organisation, get in touch with the Common Ambition team.

Speakers: The Common Ambition lived experience steering group, and project partners.

Navigating Mental Health Services. Why won’t mental health see my client, and how do I get the best outcome for them?

This session aimed to help develop an understanding of the realities of the current mental health system, the reasons for differences in approach, how to give referrals the best chance of being accepted, and what to do when they’re not. Delegates came away with a sense of being more equipped to make referrals, and how to support clients through what can be a confusing and frustrating process.

Speaker: Tim Worthley

Navigating mental health services slides

Safe spaces, brave spaces: reflective practice and team wellbeing

The session explored reflective practice as a tool to manage worker and team wellbeing. Paul defines reflective practice as providing a safe space in which to talk about the ‘grey area’ between the personal and the professional – you as a human being at work. If the space is valued and used regularly – the safe space can become a ‘brave space’, where we can be vulnerable and feel understood, held and supported. And as vulnerability is the birthplace of creativity, innovation and change (as Brené Brown says), this can also be a productive space that energises and motivates.

Speaker: Paul Johanson

Access slides here

Being Trauma and Psychologically Informed

This session explored what it means to be working in a Trauma and Psychologically Informed way when supporting people experiencing homelessness – what the theory into practice looks like, taking learnings from the work at the Centre for Homelessness Research and Practice in Southampton.

Speaker: Prof Nick Maguire

Access slides here

Adult Safeguarding

This practical guide to safeguarding adults explored what information is helpful when making a referral and what you should expect once you have made a referral.

Speakers: Holly Croydon and Lou Shillingford

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