Call for action to help the homeless

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homeless people are likely to die 30 years younger than the national average, a study by Sheffield academics suggests.

People living on the street will, on average, die aged 47, compared to the national average of 77, researchers from Sheffield University said.

The most common causes of death are alcohol and drug addiction – accounting for a third of all deaths – according to the study commissioned by homeless charity Crisis.

Research, which examined the homeless population in England, found those living on the street are also three-and-a-half times more likely to commit suicide than the general population.

The charity said that homeless people are not getting the help they need from the health service.

People living on the street should have easy access to register with GPs and should not be discharged from hospital without accommodation and support.

Leslie Morphy, Crisis chief executive, said: “Homeless people are among the most vulnerable in our society.

“It is clear that, despite significant investment in the NHS, they are not getting the help they need to address their individual health issues.”

A Department of Health spokeswoman said it was working with experts to improve access to primary care and hospital discharge arrangements for homeless people.