The Queen’s Nursing Institute (QNI) has launched a new programme to fund nurse-led projects focused on improving homeless healthcare.

The QNI invites nurses working in primary and community care in England, Wales and Northern Ireland to apply for funding of up to £5000, to develop projects which improve healthcare for people who have poor health outcomes because they are more likely to be marginalised by wider society.

Up to ten nurses will be selected to receive the funding. The year-long projects will start in January 2018. Alongside the funding, the QNI will also provide a year-long programme of professional support to help nurses develop their skills in planning projects, delivering outcomes, communications and leadership.

David Parker-Radford, the QNI’s Homeless Health Programme Manager, commented, “The average life expectancy of someone who is street homeless is 30 years less than the national average. A high proportion of people who are homeless have multi-morbidities and may be dealing with complex trauma, mental health issues, physical health conditions, addictions, and communicable disease alongside housing, and relationship issues.

“General Practice Nurses, Health Visitors, Mental Health Nurses and Specialist Homelessness Nurses are skilled at managing this complexity and are at the forefront of driving through innovations in holistic care. This programme will help to unleash their innovation to improve care for vulnerable people.”

As well as people who are homeless, the funding is able to support projects that improve care for people in prison, refugees, people with drug and alcohol addiction, Gypsy, Roma or Travellers, and sex workers.

The new funding programme is part of the QNI’s Fund for Innovation and Leadership programme, supported by Oak Foundation. Since 1990 the QNI has helped hundreds of nurses turn innovative ideas into reality, benefiting thousands of patients and improving nursing practice in diverse fields of healthcare.

Any nurse interested in applying should visit https://qni.org.uk/explore-qni/nurse-led-projects/homeless-health/ for further information or contact david.parker-radford@qni.org.uk  for further advice.

Full guidance and the application form are on the QNI’s website, and nurses who wish to discuss their ideas in advance are encouraged to contact the QNI.

The deadline for nurses to submit their funding applications is 29 September 2017.

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