St Mungo's new hospital aftercare for homeless people
Published by Brian Church for 24dash.com in Housing
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Public Health Minister Jane Ellison has visited St Mungo’s Pagnell Street hostel in Lewisham to see first hand the service that will soon help homeless people with hospital aftercare.
"This excellent new facility at St Mungo’s will give us a good understanding of how best to stop the revolving door for homeless people and make sure they don’t leave hospital without proper care plans in place,” Ellison said.
On average, homeless people attend A&E six times more than people with a home due to their complex needs.
Ellison met staff from St Mungo’s and Homeless Healthcare who will provide the aftercare. She also met Wayne, a client who volunteers at the hostel but who was previously homeless and needed hospital treatment.
Research by St Mungo’s and Homeless Link found that only a third of homeless people in hospital had help with their homelessness. Many were discharged straight onto the streets without their housing or underlying health problems addressed. This often resulted in worsening health and readmission to hospital.
The London Homeless Hospital Discharge Network was given £3.6 million funding from the Department of Health as part of a £10 million national boost for hospital aftercare for homeless people.
It will provide an initial 24 beds, then up to 40, across London, in existing St Mungo’s hostels in Camden, Westminster, Hackney and Lewisham. A team of nurses and psychologists will work alongside health and housing support workers to help the person move on as their treatment comes to a close.
Charles Fraser, St Mungo’s chief executive, said: "We need to ensure that homeless people can have access to the care they need. We want to improve health outcomes significantly for homeless people but we also anticipate better use of health services which will potentially reduce costs."