Published: 07/06/2002, Volume II2, No. 5808 Page 20 21

People aged 16-25 with a history of homelessness often require intensive and expensive help from primary care services, which are usually stretched to provide it. Foyers (of which there are 115 in the UK) provide integrated supported housing for this group, and health priorities such as mental health, sexual health and substance misuse are our daily concerns.

With funding provided by the Gatsby foundation, foyers are currently seeking to develop partnership pilots with local primary care trusts to find innovative ways of working together to manage these problems and to develop healthy-living programmes.

The pilots will be small but highly focused, and up to£8,000 per project is available, in return for match funding. The idea is to develop services which, if effective, the PCT will want to sustain after the pilot year. It is an opportunity to pilot new ideas which capitalise on the work of foyers to improve the health of young people moving towards independent living. I hope chief executives and directors of public health in PCTs will support our efforts.

Helen Rosenblade Old Health programme manager The Foyer Federation www. foyer. net