A powerful new film is being shared with NHS teams across the country to prompt reflection and conversations about the challenges faced by people living with homelessness. This is part of an ongoing commitment to provide compassionate and inclusive care for all.

Commissioned by NHS England, ‘Less?’ movingly documents the personal stories from Jamesy, Jeff, Julian and Mandy who have faced and overcome homelessness. In this film, they share their experiences and interactions with health services in the UK.

“A warm smile, a friendly word can make a massive impact on a person to relax, to begin to trust, to begin again to believe that a person wants to help,” says Mandy in ‘Less?’.

Last month, NHS England Chief Nursing Officer, Dame Ruth May and NHS Confederation Chair, Lord Victor Adebowale took part in a panel discussion in London alongside the four film participants to launch the film.


Lord Victor Adebowale, Chair of the NHS Confederation, said:

“This film reminds us what’s important. The NHS and social care system was set up to provide care for people at the end of the inverse care law. Homelessness is a litmus test of our ability to treat and help those people and this film is telling us that we need to do better.”

Among the core values enshrined in the NHS Constitution are delivering compassionate care to all and recognising that everyone counts. With rising homelessness adding to growing demand for services, those supporting the new film say it can play an important role in ensuring these values are maintained.

Following its launch, ‘Less?’ is being shared with NHS integrated care boards across the country to prompt conversations and reflection with staff as part of the drive to foster a compassionate and inclusive health service.


Prof Bola Owolabi, Director – Health Inequalities, NHS England, said:

“Members of inclusion health groups, such as those facing, or at risk of, homelessness, are most at risk of experiencing health inequalities. As a result, accessing care may be more challenging, sometimes due to negative past experiences, as shown in this film. This film is a way we can share the lived experience of those facing homelessness so that we can raise awareness of the challenges they face and drive change towards an inclusive health service for all.”

“In addition, our Core20PLUS5 approach provides a framework to drive progress on healthcare inequalities among people experiencing homelessness and other inclusion health groups.”

“We have recently developed a suite of resources to ensure consistent high-quality care in our urgent and emergency care settings for people experiencing homelessness. Over the next year, we will be providing further tools and support to help integrated care boards and partnerships to better serve people experiencing homelessness and other groups that face social exclusion, building on good practice that is already evident.”

‘Less?’ was directed by CJ Barton and produced by Dr Caroline Shulman. The film was created in partnership with the homelessness charities Pathway and Groundswell. For more information about the film and to view it, please visit the film’s website: https://journeystohealth.co.uk/.


Further Information

About Pathway

Pathway is the UK’s leading homeless healthcare charity. We work with the NHS and other partners to create improved models of care for people experiencing homelessness along with  other excluded groups. So far, the Pathway Partnership Programme has helped 11 hospitals in England to create teams of doctors, nurses, social care professionals and peer supporters who support some 3,500 homeless patients every year.

Pathway Experts by Experience

We believe that lived experience should be at the heart of what we do. Our Experts by Experience colleagues, who have had lived experience of homelessness, advise across all our work and can educate healthcare professionals about the care of people experiencing homelessness. Through Pathway, our colleagues receive support and training to carry out the role and opportunities to influence across a range of areas. These recently include the impact of universal credit reform in partnership with the Institute of for Public Policy Research (IPPR), the development of our Mental Capacity Act assessment e-learning and editorial decisions on the Faculty for Homeless and Inclusion Health International Symposium.


Groundswell works with people with experience of homelessness, offering opportunities to contribute to society and create solutions to homelessness. Participation is at our core because the experience of homelessness is crucial in making decisions that affect lives and ultimately help people to move out of homelessness. We aim to address four key issues: homelessness; health inequalities; lack of participation in service delivery and policy; and a society that does not work for everyone. We achieve this by ensuring people can access health care; offering progression opportunities for people with experience of homelessness; and by creating change in policy and practice.