Promoting Inclusion Health Ethos in Hospitals Reduces Rough Sleeping by 77%
A Bevan Healthcare Pathway Team has demonstrated how inclusion practice in hospitals can dramatically improve both health and housing outcomes for patients experiencing homelessness.
The team of health professionals were commissioned by Hull Clinical Commissioning Group to deliver a Pathway model of care and advocacy for homeless people admitted to hospital in Hull. The team have been recognised by Emmaus, who gave them an Award for Outstanding Contribution, and The Queens Nursing Institute who published a Best practice / Innovation Case Study of the team’s work.
A report on the initiatives’ first year of operation demonstrates that in-hospital intervention and advocacy by a dedicated team of healthcare professionals has a positive impact on the lives of people living on the streets or in unstable accommodation. The report describes how such initiatives can help to improve hospital capacity and are a cost-effective way to reduce the cycle of readmission that sees homeless people repeatedly in hospital.
Pathway is a health charity that has developed an integrated in-hospital care model to address problems of poor morbidity and mortality outcomes and inadequate hospital discharge in people experiencing homelessness, people in prison, Gypsies, travellers and sex workers. The mean average age of death for men in these vulnerable groups is 45, for women it is 43.
The Bevan Healthcare ‘Pathway’ team began work at Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill hospitals on 1st October 2019. The team comprises a band 7 nurse, two GPs, two health support workers, a healthcare assistant and an advanced nurse practitioner. Over the course of the first year, 235 patients were referred by hospital staff and community services. On meeting patients, the highly experienced inclusion health practitioners assess patients for their physical, mental, housing and support needs. Key to their success is the sensitive and compassionate delivery of a care plan in order to implement discharge pathways that prioritise the needs of the patient.
Key achievements include:
- Reduction of rough sleeping by 77% from 71 of the 235 referred patients to 16.
- An 88% decrease in very unstable accommodation from 139 patients to 16.
- 100% increase in stable accommodation to 182 patients from 91.
- Improved community follow ups – the team have grown to see this as a central part of the support they provide.
- Improved access to ongoing healthcare aided by updating of patient records (nearly half were found to be out of date or incorrect on admission) and registration of non-registered patients with a GP.
- The team were also reported to have a positive impact on hospital culture and how staff interact with patients from vulnerable groups.
The first year has been deemed a significant success and the team have been asked to speak about inclusion health best practice at the upcoming European Federation of National Organisations Working With the Homeless Conference.
To read the report in full click here