We are pleased to announce that Dr Ekta Gupta of the Institute of Dentistry, University of Aberdeen, has led a collaborative report with colleagues at the University of Dundee on the Aberdeen mapping of services addressing homelessness.
The mapping was undertaken in collaboration with the University of Dundee as an initiative under the Smile4life (Scottish Oral Health Improvement Homelessness Programme) programme. The report adopts a Reflexive mapping (RME) approach which provides a practical framework in the context of the design and implementation of health and social care integration to tackle homelessness. The Dundee Mapping was the first publication of this series and a similar exercise is under way in Glasgow and Edinburgh. The mapping covers services in eight areas: Housing Support Information and Advice, Health and Psychosocial Well-being, Furniture, Employment, Education/Training on Life Skills (employment, literacy), Food/ Personal Hygiene Assistance, Community Development and Networking.
The RME in Aberdeen has enabled us to know who we are, what we do and what we want, as well as to initiate a process to achieve better linkage of professionals and service users with key available services. The data presented in the report provides relevant information for local authorities and government agencies to identify gaps in service provision and inequitable distribution of services. This can help them plan their interventions to mitigate and to prevent homelessness. This is an important document which aims to promote dialogue amongst different stakeholders who believe in, and support the promotion of, social justice.
We would like to thank the University of Dundee for funding the publication of this report and Public Health Scotland for being a collaborator. A very special thanks to all service providers including Aberdeen City Council and Shelter who were instrumental in supporting and providing information for this report.