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Nurses to tackle social exclusion

The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) will today launch an online tool which will help to improve the health prospects of socially excluded and "hard to reach" groups.

By providing all the relevant healthcare information in one place, this resource will equip nurses with the information to deliver high-quality care.

The RCN Resource for Socially Inclusive Practice, produced by nurses for nurses, includes examples of best practice in this complex area.

It directs nurses to relevant policies and useful organisations when working with specific groups including asylum seekers and refugees, the traveller community, the homeless, people with learning difficulties, people with mental health problems, offenders and sex workers.

The online resource will also include videos and publications that express the experiences of individuals from each group.

Dr Peter Carter, Chief Executive and General Secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said:

"The link between social exclusion and poor health is real and undeniable. Access to up-to-date information is important to the care of any patient. However, identifying and locating the most suitable resources and guidance for socially excluded groups can be extremely difficult.

"Nurses work with socially excluded groups every day, up and down the country. These interactions provide a window of opportunity to improve the health of people who often have poor health prospects. This resource will ensure nurses have the necessary information available to make a genuine difference."

The resource will be launched at an interprofessional event to share progress on the important issues relating to social inclusion. The event has been organised by the Royal College of Nursing and the National Social Inclusion Programme.