Health Research

People who are homeless often have complex health needs and can face many barriers to receiving treatment. Groundswell uses Peer research to discover new insight into the health inequalities faced by homeless people and crucially to develop achievable solutions to reduce health inequalities.

The starting point for making positive social change is finding out what is really going on. People at the sharp end of homelessness and other social problems have a unique insight into how things work – and where they don’t work. This is why our Peer research is so powerful – it gets to see the whole picture. Our research is aimed at creating a greater understanding of the health impacts of homelessness, so that we can ensure that healthcare meets the needs of homeless people.

A group of Peer Advocates at an underground station

Examples of Our Health Research

Room to Breathe
We conducted a study exploring the respiratory health of homeless people which revealed the shocking extent of health inequality experienced by homeless people. Groundswell engaged over 330 people currently experiencing homelessness and explored existing health conditions and access to services.
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Healthy Mouths
Oral Health is a huge problem for people who are experiencing homelessness. We interviewed 263 people from across London to exploring the state of people’s oral health, lifestyle factors and access to dental services. We revealed that oral health is not only being damaged by homelessness but in some cases poor mouth health is preventing people from escaping homelessness.
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Out of Pain
Chronic pain is severely damaging the lives of people who are homeless, and there is evidence to prove that it may be a contributing factor to why many people become homeless and is a factor perpetuating a cycle of homelessness.

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More than a Statistic
In this study we explored the stories and experiences of healthcare from the perspective of people who are currently homeless across London.

The report uncovered the health priorities and issues that people with experience of homelessness voiced and it played a significant role in shaping the London Homeless Health Programme’s commissioning guidance for CCGs. The findings of the report are presented in chapters relating to different areas of healthcare delivery. In addition to being presented by health topic, the report highlighted the cross cutting themes that can apply across all areas of healthcare.