13 August 2018
The BBC’s Hospital, broadcast earlier this year, highlighted the pressures that the QMC faced last winter and specifically highlighted the problems caused by delayed discharge, when patients are forced to stay in hospital because of unsuitable housing, despite being well enough to be discharged.
Nottingham City Homes (NCH) has been working with the NHS to address the issue of delayed discharge since 2015 via the Housing to Health (H2H) initiative.
H2H aims to help people leaving hospital to find appropriate housing, make any necessary adaptations, free up a hospital bed and give patients the opportunity to go home – and this week has released its latest figures.
In the past year, the initiative has supported 107 people to be re-housed into more suitable homes. 40% of these people were occupying high-demand NHS and social care beds.
One such individual is Mr A, who was referred to H2H by the QMC. He was left a permanent wheelchair user after circulation problems led to the amputation of his foot, and couldn’t be discharged to his home, a first floor flat.
H2H identified a newly built, fully adapted and accessible bungalow for Mr A, and he moved in within three weeks. The H2H team worked with him through the entire process to make sure that the property would be suitably furnished and that he had the help he needed to move.
Mr A said that he was very satisfied with his new home, and that he was managing his health and finances much better. He was also delighted to be part of a new and accessible community.
H2H has also saved the public purse over £2.1m last year in health and social care costs. The NHS made the biggest saving - £1.6m - with Nottingham City Council saving nearly £400,000 and Nottingham City Homes nearly £144,000.
With an overall project cost of £135,600 over the same year, the net financial return on investment stands at £14.73 for every £1 spent.
Many of those supported by H2H have been able to report significant positive impacts on their general health following their move. Residents have reported better health, better quality of life, and a substantial reduction in anxiety and depression.
Ciara Stuart, Deputy Director of City Locality services at the Greater Nottingham Clinical Commissioning Partnership, said, “Since its inception the Housing to Health project has become an increasingly important part of how we help our patients avoid being ‘stuck’ and facing worsening health due to inadequate housing. No one should have to spend more time than they need in hospital or a care home simply because their housing doesn’t support them to recover and stay healthier for longer.
“The service is helping people to find housing that meets their health needs and allows them to develop and maintain more active and independent lives. It’s helping GPs, community nurses, and hospital staff to focus their care where it’s needed, and it’s helping to reduce delays within the health system.”
Gill Moy, Director of Housing and Customer Services at Nottingham City Homes, said: “I’m delighted to see the positive impact the Housing to Health scheme has had on the lives of local people, and the savings it’s offered to local health and care agencies.”
Notes for Editors
Housing to Health, developed and delivered by NCH, Nottingham City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and Nottingham City Council, is been part funded by the Better Care Fund, which aims to join up health and care services.