Department of Health and Social Care
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Ten million pound cash boost to improve the health of homeless people

Fifty two projects have been awarded a share of £10 million to ensure homeless people receive better help once they leave hospital, Public Health Minister Anna Soubry announced today.

It is estimated that homeless people attend A&E up to six times more than people with a home - and that currently 70 per cent of homeless people are discharged back onto the street without their housing or on-going care needs after hospital being properly addressed.

The projects are run by voluntary sector organisations who will work with the NHS and local government to make sure homeless people get the best possible support and care after they leave hospital. This will help reduce the number of homeless people who are readmitted to hospital.

Some of the organisations receiving funding will provide:

  • Specialist training for hospital staff on the needs of homeless people;
  • Support to make sure their care continues after discharge;
  • Teams to support homeless people find accommodation that takes into account their health needs; and
  • 14 care beds for people discharged from hospital thanks to over £1million from the fund.

Public Health Minister Anna Soubry said:

In today’s society, it is not acceptable that people are leaving hospital with no plans in place to address their on-going care needs.

The £10 million we have awarded to these 52 projects will help stamp out the bad practice we know exists in some trusts when homeless people are discharged from hospital and ensure they have the support and care they need.

Housing Minister Mark Prisk said:

This Government is working hard to make every contact count, ensuring that homeless people have access to the help and support they need wherever they are - from the housing office to the hospital bed.   Today’s funding, backed by a further £470 million Government investment in homelessness prevention, will reach people in need when they’re at their most vulnerable, getting them back on their feet more quickly, and saving local services the ongoing bills for repeat treatment.

We welcomed the news about the fund earlier this year so it’s fantastic to see details of the successful bidders and their plans for the money. The damaging cycle of homelessness, poor health and hospital admission is long-standing, but these grants will take a huge step towards tackling the issue.

It is vital that these projects lead the way in demonstrating the value the Hospital Discharge Fund delivers for patients, communities and taxpayers so that improvements can be sustained for years to come.

Charles Fraser, Chief Executive of St Mungo’s, said:

This is fantastic news. The ill-health of homeless people is extreme and disproportionate, and we strongly welcome the government’s very clear commitment to addressing repeat ill-health which keeps people homeless.

This announcement means we and other organisations can begin working more closely on hospital aftercare with our health and borough partners, as well as with the Department of Health, to help transform people’s lives.

Background

  1. For further information please contact the Department of Health press office on 020 7210 5436.
  2. NHS England will be working with local commissioners to make sure that the projects are sustainable into the future.
  3. In order to provide the full amount requested, we have also identified an additional £233,000 in capital funding to be given to St Mungo’s for the London Homeless Hospital Discharge Network.
  4. Details of the successful bidders are below.

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