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The School Clinic Morley Street Brighton BN2 9DH

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An outreach team for Arch Healthcare

The Arch outreach team is now in place, and mobile!

ARCH stands for Accessible, Restorative, Community Healthcare, so we are always looking for ways to make our service more accessible to people who may not be able to reach our surgery, in the heart of the city, or who may not be aware of our service. Our new outreach service was established in order to address this.

The team is made up of Advanced Nurse Practitioner Ruth, who is the Outreach Coordinator, and Jess, the Outreach Health Engagement Worker. They see patients in a variety of settings, including, hostels, outreach clinics or at their sleep sites (doorways, sheds, stairwells, car parks and tents). They also run regular clinics at day centres and other locations and services.

Fortnightly joint outreach sessions with CGL SOS team have proven to be very successful, and offers some evening and weekend cover.

The outreach service has been involved in a wide variety of consultation types including the management of acute illness and injuries, and monitoring of long-term conditions. It has also been useful in helping to raise awareness of Arch, and what the surgery can offer to people facing homelessness.

2 members of the Arch outreach team standing outside the surgery, under the sign by the front door. Smiling at the camera

An e-bike: perfectly suited to our work and our city

As part of Arch’s outreach work, it’s important to be able to travel around the city quickly, and have equipment to hand to be able to support and treat people as and when we meet them. We originally considered a vehicle for the outreach service, however the benefits of a bike soon became clear:

  • Brighton’s layout, traffic system, parking restrictions and narrow, windy streets mean that a bike can get to places a vehicle might find difficult
  • Additionally, sleeping sites might be located in places where it is easier to get to by bike.
  • We found many rough sleepers want to be seen at their sleep site. They might be reluctant to leave their site to get in a vehicle as they fear being moved on by authorities or their possessions being stolen.
  • Ruth, our outreach coordinator, has made contacts around the city, enabling her to access conveniently located spaces to use as consultation rooms in pharmacies, churches and cafes, replacing the space that would be provided by a vehicle.
  • Careful thought into what to pack into a portable bag of healthcare equipment has shown that minimal equipment is required for most outreach work
  • Walking and cycling around the city increases our chances to find those who are rough sleeping and speak with them opportunistically.
  • In branded clothing, on a branded bike, Ruth raises awareness of Arch Healthcare, providing a friendly face that people can get to know, thereby building up trust in our service.
  • Environmental considerations: we are working in a green city, it is wonderful to be able to support that in our outreach work.
Outreach coordinator Ruth on the purple Arch outreach ebike

If you’d like to learn more about our outreach service, or talk to us about having an Arch outreach clinic at your service or site, please contact us.

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