Healthy London Partnership > Resources > Supporting the safe discharge of homeless hospital patients

Supporting the safe discharge of homeless hospital patients

This guidance document outlines the latest developments in homeless hospital discharge, including the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 and the duty it places on hospital trusts, emergency departments and urgent treatment centres.

With homelessness at record levels in London and hospitals under increased pressure over winter, this guidance document provides a checklist for use by staff on the practical steps they can take and signposts sources of further guidance and advice.

Resources

London hospital discharge housing options directory

Working with London Councils, Healthy London Partnership’s Homeless Health team has launched an online discharge housing options directory to share key housing contacts, processes, and forms for London boroughs.

The directory is intended to be used by hospital teams such as NHS discharge officers, Pathway teams and others working in hospital discharge settings and emergency departments when discharging a patient believed to be homeless, at risk of homelessness, or where their previous accommodation would be unsuitable or unsafe.

The discharge directory can be found on the Future NHS web platform.

See our FAQs guide to using accessing the directory.

You can also watch this short video demonstrating how to navigate the directory.

 

Rapid survey findings (January 2022)

We would like to share with you the findings from a rapid survey that the Homeless Health Team here at Healthy London Partnership ran at the beginning of this year.

This survey was undertaken in response to:

  • the increasing number of COVID cases across London between December-January 2021
  • concerns that hospitals were working at very high capacity

The aim was to identify people experiencing homelessness who were in hospital and no longer met the criteria to reside or no longer required a hospital bed (i.e. ‘medically fit for discharge’).  This would include people with relatively low support needs who were in hospital due to not having a safe place to discharge and people who were needing to self-isolate due to being COVID positive. In addition, all teams were asked if they recently had problems finding suitable accommodations for anyone who was COVID positive. With this information, the team wanted to help assess whether this group’s needs could be met if additional pan-London hotel beds were able to be set up.

A total of 6 London hospital Pathway Teams were surveyed, including those based at:

  • Guys’ and St Thomas’ hospital
  • University College London hospitals
  • King’s College hospitals
  • Royal London hospital
  • Imperial NHS Trust hospitals
  • St George’s hospital

Please feel free to share this report with any colleagues you think may find it of interest.

You can also listen to our short podcast episode discussing some of the findings.

We welcome any questions you may have about the report, please send these to: hlp.homelesshealthcovid19team@nhs.net

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