Aldgate nurse is appointed Queen’s Nurse for role in looking after homeless

Penny Louch is now a Queen's Nurse thanks to the work she and her team does with homeless and vulner

Penny Louch is now a Queen's Nurse thanks to the work she and her team does with homeless and vulnerable people - Credit: Archant

A senior nurse who leads a team of staff looking after the homeless and vulnerable has been awarded Queen’s Nurse status in recognition of her work.

Penny Louch, Senior Nurse at Health E1, a nurse-led primary care practice for people who are homeless, has become a Queens Nurse. The service provides care and support to the street-homeless, those living in local hostel accommodation, bed and breakfast or temporary housing along with squatters, refugees and asylum seekers.

Penny was presented with her Queen’s Nurse Certificate at a formal ceremony recently.

Queen’s Nurses are community nurses such as district nurses, practice nurses, school nurses and health visitors who through their practice improve the care provided to people being looked after in the community. They have additional experience and training to care for people outside of hospital settings.

Penny said: “It is an honour to be awarded Queen’s Nurse status for doing something you love. I really enjoy being the clinical lead for such a skilled team of people who work so hard to support our homeless population.”

Penny applied for Queen’s Nurse status over a year ago and submitted examples of her work. The Queen’s Nursing Institute also sought testimonials from patients.

Queen’s Nurses are required to submit an annual overview of their activities and any initiatives undertaken. They are charged with raising the profile of community nursing and can participate in national health forums, policy development and research, and to implement advances in clinical practice to enhance the quality of care given.

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The Health E1 service is based in Aldgate where there are a number of hostels. The team focuses on supporting people who routinely spend the night outdoors and socially excluded patients including hostel dwellers, sex industry workers and other marginalised groups referred by partner organisations. As well as homeless people it also cares for vulnerably housed people and those having difficulties registering with a GP and accessing health services.