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New 'duty to refer' homeless act emphasises role of nurses

Initiating change in the care of a homeless person is hard, but can be done

Initiating change in the care of a homeless person is hard, but can be done writes Samantha Dorney-Smith

The annual cost of unscheduled care for homeless patients is eight times that of the housed population (Department of Health 2010) and homeless patients are over-represented among frequent attenders at emergency departments (EDs).

Yet despite this expenditure, patients have a reduced quality of life caused by multi-morbidity and the average lifespan of homeless men is 47 (Crisis 2011).

More recently, researchers found that the standardised mortality rate among the homeless, prisoners, sex workers, and

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