Health grant windfall to help homeless people in the Midlands
Published by kerri smith for Reach the People Charity in Housing and also in Local Government
Homeless people in the Midlands will benefit from a £300,000 grant aimed at ensuring they get better help after leaving hospital.
The cash windfall, from the Department of Health, will establish a ‘Homeless Patient Pathway’ for people across Birmingham, Sandwell and Solihull.
It will help fund work to make sure homeless people get the best possible support and care after they leave hospital. The idea is to address individual’s housing or on-going care needs to prevent their health deteriorating further and having to be re-admitted to hospital.
The grant has been awarded to Trident Reach the People Charity, which provides housing, care and support services to vulnerable people across the region, including young people, the elderly, homeless, people with learning disabilities and people with mental health problems.
Trident Reach was lead partner in the funding bid, made jointly with partners Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospital Trust, Heart of England Foundation Trust, University Hospital Birmingham Foundation NHS Trust, Midland Heart, Birmingham City Council, Sandwell Council and Solihull Council.
The partners will now work together to develop the Homeless Health Pathway.
Dominic Bradley, Charity Lead at Trident Reach, said: “We are delighted to be lead partner for such an important pilot scheme.
“We now have a real opportunity to offer better access to housing and other services to homeless people being discharged from hospital – and to change the way we work for the long-term benefit of homeless people and the hospital trusts that are working with us.
“I would like to thank all the partners who contributed so much to our submission which will make such a difference to disadvantaged members of our communities.”
Estimates indicate that homeless people attend A&E departments up to six times more often than people with a home. Currently, 70% are discharged back onto the street without their housing or care needs being properly addressed.
The Department of Health has awarded a total of £10 million to 52 projects across the UK. They involve voluntary sector organisations working with the NHS and local government to make sure homeless people get the support they need after leaving hospital, helping reduce the number of people being re-admitted.
Projects include specialist training for hospital staff on the needs of homeless people, support so care continues after discharge and teams to help them find accommodation which takes into account their health needs.