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Development and initial evaluation of a nurse-led healthcare clinic for homeless and at-risk populations in Tasmania, Australia: A Collaborative initiative


Bennett-Daly, G and Unwin, M and Dinh, H and Dowlman, M and Harkness, L and Laidlaw, J and Tori, K, Development and initial evaluation of a nurse-led healthcare clinic for homeless and at-risk populations in Tasmania, Australia: A Collaborative initiative, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18, (23) Article 12770. ISSN 1660-4601 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright: 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license (

DOI: doi:10.3390/ijerph182312770


People who are homeless experience significantly poorer health than the general population and often face multifaceted challenges engaging with public healthcare services. Mission Health Nurse-led Clinic (MHNC) was established in 2019 to meet the healthcare needs of this marginalised population in Launceston, Tasmania. This study examines barriers to healthcare access amongst individuals who experience homelessness, client and staff perceptions of the MHNC services and explored opportunities for service expansion. Descriptive statistics were drawn from administrative data, and all interviews were thematically analysed. A total of 426 presentations were reported for 174 individuals experiencing homelessness over 26 months. The median client age was 42 years and 60.9% were male; A total of 38.5% were homeless or lived in a supported accommodation. The predominant reasons for clinic visits included prescription requests (25.3%) and immunisations (20.1%). A total of 10 clients and 5 City Mission staff were interviewed with three themes emerging from the findings: personal vulnerability, disconnectedness and acceptability of the MHNC. The MHNC services were reported to be highly appreciated by all clients. Mental health and allied health, extra operating hours and maintaining the flexibility of walk-in appointments were suggested as expansion areas for the service and were highlighted as ways to increase engagement for improved health outcomes. Continued partnerships with interprofessional primary healthcare providers would contribute to addressing unmet healthcare needs in this vulnerable population.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:nurse led clinic, homelessness, healthcare, nursing
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Nursing
Research Field:Nursing not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health) not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Bennett-Daly, G (Ms Grace Bennett-Daly)
UTAS Author:Unwin, M (Dr Maria Unwin)
UTAS Author:Dinh, H (Dr Thi Thuy Ha Dinh)
UTAS Author:Dowlman, M (Ms Michele Dowlman)
UTAS Author:Harkness, L (Ms Leigh Harkness)
UTAS Author:Tori, K (Associate Professor Kathleen Tori)
ID Code:148214
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Nursing
Deposited On:2021-12-11
Last Modified:2022-12-06
Downloads:8 View Download Statistics

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