The first ‘Dying for a Home’ conference organised by St Luke’s Hospice took place in Crewe last week.

On average, homeless people die at just 44 years old, with life events like a relationship breaking down, losing a job, mental and physical health problems or substance misuse often being the trigger. Being homeless can in turn make many of these problems even harder to resolve.

With thought provoking presentations from Dr Caroline Shulman, clinical lead in the Pathway Homelessness Team and Wendy Ann Webb, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, the conference brought together hospices, social workers, GPs, nurses and care agencies from across the country currently working with homeless people approaching end of life.

Afternoon workshops from Cheshire East Council, Manchester Metropolitan University and St Luke’s Homelessness Team, the day outlined the latest research around homelessness and palliative care, providing information to improve practice for all.

Alison Colclough, St Luke’s Homelessness Project Lead and organiser of the event said: “Homelessness is a huge issue in the majority of our towns and cities throughout the UK today. Personally, I was shocked by the inequitable access to health care homeless people have, and as a hospice worker noted that choice and access to good end of life care seemed like a distant dream if homeless or living in difficult circumstances.”

‘Dying for a home’ has given a well-informed insight into we can improve this, by collaborating with homelessness services to support them with vulnerable people who have complex and life limiting health needs.”

It was wonderful to meet such an inspiring group of people with similar goals in mind – all wanting to progress the care and support for those who are homeless with advanced ill health.”