New service to prevent Tameside ‘revolving door’ hospital admissions
Published by Brian Church for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Health
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A new service in Tameside aims to ensure homeless patients have somewhere to go other than the streets when they leave hospital.
New Charter executive director of neighbourhoods Tony Powell said: “We need to do more to link up housing and healthcare services, and the opportunity to bid for the Department of Health grant was very welcome. This exciting new service will save local health resources on costly readmissions, and at the same time make help make sure vulnerable people are healthy and properly housed.”
The hospital discharge homelessness prevention contract is being introduced in response to a survey by charities Homeless Link and St Mungo’s. They found that on average 70% of homeless people were being discharged from hospitals onto the streets, often resulting in patients becoming ill again soon after and needing to return to treatment.
Operated by New Charter’s Tameside Housing Advice and Gibson Terrace accommodation services, funding is being drawn from a £10m Department of Health fund to hire a 'Hospital Discharge Prevention Officer'. The HDPO will help to bridge the gap between healthcare and housing by identifying homeless patients and ensuring that a suitable plan is in place for their discharge from hospital.
Whilst they will be supporting patients from the Tameside area, they will be liaising with hospitals across the Greater Manchester region, helping make sure discharge procedures are followed, ward staff are aware of the issues and that patients receive the support they need.
New Charter formed in 2000 as the new landlords to own and manage homes transferred from Tameside council in Greater Manchester. With a turnover of £90 million a year and a workforce of 950, New Charter is one of the region’s largest registered providers of social housing. By incorporating Gedling Homes and Aksa Homes the Group owns around 18,600 homes.