When news happens, text SDE and your photos or videos to 80360. Or contact us by email and phone.
Homeless patient pilot bid to halt the bed-blocking
AN innovative scheme to get homeless people off the streets of Southampton after being discharged from hospital is being launched in a bid to save the cashstrapped NHS thousands of pounds.
Two Saints housing association has been awarded £270,900 to get the pioneering scheme up and running with the aim of ending the vicious cycle that sees homeless people in and out of accident and emergency.
It is hoped the pilot will prove such a success in preventing bed blocking by those with nowhere to go, slash re-admission rates to an already under-pressure emergency department and boost the health of those in need, that it will become a permanent fixture in the city.
Two Saints, which provides accommodation and support for the homeless, will use the grant from the Department of Health to launch the Breathing Space aftercare service, offering them a place to stay once they have left hospital.
They have joined forces with Solent NHS Trust’s Homeless Healthcare Team to improve discharge arrangements for the homeless, ensuring they have appropriate accommodation and support during their recovery.
The scheme will include a Medical Respite Centre to provide accommodation for eight people and a staff teamwill be present 24/7 to help resolve problems regarding a place to stay, as well as their health.
Louise Barnden, chief executive of Two Saints, said: “We are very excited about winning this funding in partnership with our colleagues from Solent Healthcare.
“The Breathing Space project will provide just that – a period of respite and recovery for people being discharged from hospital with no home to go to. The service will help them to find accommodation as well as giving any aftercare support they need for their health conditions.
“This will help stop the damaging cycle of homelessness, poor health and hospital admission.”
The pilot project is for one year only but those involved are confident the service will prove its value to health bosses.
Nationally it is estimated that homeless people attend accident and emergency up to six times more than people with a home and 70 per cent are discharged back on to the street.
Andrew Mortimore, director of public health for Southampton City Council, added: “I am delighted that this pilot project has been funded as it will support and meet the needs of some of the city’s most vulnerable residents.
“The new service will be a more appropriate and sustainable response to their needs, result in less episodes of hospital care and make a real difference to their lives.”
Comments are closed on this article.