A BOURNEMOUTH-based charity which provides free drop-in healthcare sessions for homeless people has unveiled a new mobile clinic.

The new bus will help HealthBus to continue providing medical support to the homeless community.

Established in 2016 by GP Dr Maggie Kirk, the HealthBus Trust charity provides a mobile health facility that travels to the areas of Bournemouth where people sleep rough.

They provide basic health care, a GP service and access to addiction and mental health support services.

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Chris Wakefield, fundraiser and vice-chair of the charity’s trustees, said: “Dr Maggie set up the clinic and in those five years the health bus has treated hundreds of people that have experienced homelessness.

“Now the health bus has become an absolute integral part of the homeless health team here in Bournemouth.

“Recently, due to grants from BCP Council we have been able to expand our provision from one clinic a week to three clinics a week during the pandemic.

“The team have been very agile and we’ve had two Covid clinics as well, which means 260 people have been vaccinated who wouldn’t have been otherwise.”

Dorset’s Lord-Lieutenant, Angus Campbell, said: “It’s a huge honour for me to be here at the unveiling of this magnificent bus.

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“If you had a condition and you were not in a position to do something about it and no one was there to help you then it just gets worse but it’s not only the condition and health that gets worse, it’s your future life prospects.

“If there is someone there to see you and turn around your life then your life is likely to be very much better. For too long in this country a lot of people have been ignored but this is a huge example of that changing.

“I congratulate all the people who are involved in this because it matters to all of us and hopefully if we have an example like this, it can be followed by others which is hugely important.”

The new mobile clinic will now be seeing patients on Thursdays, from 9am-12noon, at St Stephens Church Car Park, Bournemouth.

Street Vet will also be with the HealthBus next Thursday from 9am-12noon to see any rough sleepers or homeless people’s furry friends.