Homeless Hospital Discharge Project Shortlisted For National Award
A project has been shortlisted for a leading industry award for how it cuts hospital re-admittance rates and saves costs, by helping homeless patients get the support and accommodation pathway they need before being discharged.
The Homeless Hospital Discharge Project is one of 10 in the running to win the ‘Delivering Value and Improvement in Commissioning Support Services’ category of the Health Service Journal (HSJ) Value in Healthcare Awards.
Developed by housing association Midland Heart in partnership with NHS Arden & GEM Commissioning Support Unit, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) and third sector organisations, the project worked closely with homeless people across Coventry and Warwickshire.
Funded by the Department of Health and CCGs, a review of the 12-month project found it had helped reduce hospital re-admittance rates by 48 per cent and savings of more than £267,000.
Midland Heart’s research estimated, that on average, homeless people present themselves to A&E departments six times or more a year, staying three times longer due to either a physical or mental illness reaching crisis point.
Delivered in acute hospital settings across Coventry and Warwickshire, the Homeless Hospital Discharge Project used specially-trained ‘navigators’ to identify and assess the support and accommodation pathway for individuals before leaving hospital.
Working closely with community-based ‘brokers’ who secured accommodation and on-going care and support, Stephen Philpott, head of quality and transformation at Midland Heart, says: “Clinical Commissioning Groups have taken on the work of Primary Care Trusts and are under pressure to reduce costs while still delivering high levels of care.
“Many homeless patients do not present themselves to hospital until their health has reached crisis point. That often means they have complex needs which must be fully addressed to avoid re-admittance to hospital.
“By removing medical staff from the responsibility of correctly signposting non-medical, on-going support and sourcing accommodation for homeless patients, and by passing it on to frontline ‘navigators’ and ‘brokers’, we have reduced re-admittance rates, freed up hospital beds, cut waiting times and saved money."
The award seeks to reward pioneers who strive to help CCGs monitor the efficiency, effectiveness, quality and safety of patient care while delivering improved outcomes in-line with local priorities and sensitivities.
Over 530 entries were received across 20 categories with 140 organisations making the shortlist. The winners will be announced at an awards dinner on 22 September 2015 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London.