University of Portsmouth

Health clinics for homeless people

Students from the University of Portsmouth are leading health clinics to help vulnerable and homeless people in Portsmouth.

Working in partnership with Portsmouth City Council, the students provide general health and dentistry checks to a diverse and hard-to-reach patient group.The inter-departmental collaboration with undergraduate students from the university’s Dental Academy and its School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences benefits the local community while providing students with real-world learning opportunities.

Following a pilot scheme last year, the students will go out into the community and visit homeless shelters. There, they will provide the health check, based on the NHS health check which is the standard health risk assessment looking at a range of factors affecting health such as age, gender, physical activity, family history and alcohol use. The oral health check will then look at the health of the user’s teeth and gums and risk of dental disease.

Students will also provide lifestyle advice and referrals for follow-up appointments and treatment. Those who need dental treatment and have no access to a dentist are welcomed to attend as patients at the Dental Academy, where they are provided with free dental care.