Briefing on Panmure St Ann’s Inclusive Homelessness Service

Panmure St Ann's Education Service. Head Teacher Angelina Lombardo in the cafe. Pupils hard at work in the classroom and chhilling in the cafe.Pic Neil Hanna


Below is a briefing I received on the above.

The average age of death for someone who is homeless and has complex needs is 47 years old compared to 77 years old for the general population.

The Health and Social Care Partnership through its ‘Inclusive Edinburgh Board’ is working with partners to improve the life-chances, health and well-being of homeless people with complex needs for whom, despite significant resource allocation, outcomes are mostly poor.

In support of this work, the integration of primary care (Edinburgh Access Practice), social work and housing (The Access Point) is taking place.

Edinburgh Access Practice and The Access Point are currently operating from two sites with poor quality accommodation.  Both sites are in the heart of the city (Spittal Street and Leith Street) and sit alongside commercial premises and the tourist industry.

The services have been looking for suitable accommodation for over 3 years and are planning to move to Panmure St Ann’s, an accessible city centre location with a single point of access, where they will be co-located early 2020.

The inclusive homelessness service will support people who live on the streets, those who are in temporary accommodation or sofa-surfing centrally, therefore Panmure St Ann’s is a suitable location.

The Edinburgh Access Practice previously operated successfully for 12 years from a location a few hundred yards from Panmure St Ann’s (until 3 years ago).

Panmure St Ann’s is owned by City of Edinburgh Council and will be leased to NHS Lothian.  NHS Lothian has committed to investing 2.8 million pounds in refurbishing the building to ensure it is fit-for-purpose.


The inclusive homelessness service
The service will operate from 9-6pm Monday to Friday. It will not be open after 6pm or at weekends.

A GP practice will be at the centre of the service which will also consist of housing officers, social workers, psychiatric nurses, practice nurses and administration staff.  Our third sector partners (Cyrenians, Streetwork) and Edinburgh University students will also be based in and support the practice.  University students will undertake research, support the service to implement and evidence best practice and work towards becoming a ‘Centre of Excellence’.

The service will be a one stop shop and will support people to:

  • Improve and manage their physical and mental health
  • Reduce harm caused by substance use
  • Access suitable accommodation
  • Maintain their accommodation

An appointment system will be in operation but occasionally the service will see people outwith these arrangements for a range of reasons.

The service will not operate a needle exchange.

The integrated service will focus on building effective relationships with people who struggle to engage, taking account of their past experiences in the way it operates, and supporting behavioural change.

A core group of around 350 people with complex needs are currently accessing services provided by The Access Point and the Edinburgh Access Practice.


Update on the planning process
This is at an early stage.

As this is not is not a major application, statutory consultation is not required.  However, as good practice the Health and Social Care Partnership/NHS Lothian is committed to consulting with the local community, including stakeholders such as local businesses.

The building is listed, in a conservation area and a world heritage site.  As well as a Planning Application, there will also be a Listed Building Consent application.

Formal notification will be done by CEC Planning on receipt of the application. Neighbours and others have the right to object on legitimate ‘planning’ grounds.

In terms of indicative timescales, it is likely a planning application would be made late January 2019.


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