The article takes an in depth look at the successful Pathway model which supports people in hospital who are experiencing homelessness, enabling them to recover properly and supporting them with suitable accommodation and healthcare at the end of their hospital stay. This model has been pioneered, amongst others, by a small but dedicated team based across Arch’s Morley Street surgery and the Royal Sussex County Hospital, with lots of support from Justlife. Arch team Chris Sargeant (GP and Director) and Katie Carter (Advocacy & Discharge Coordinator), along with the Sussex Community Nursing Team, Caterina Speight, and Gregg Lock ensure that patients who might otherwise be discharged back onto the streets, unable to recover properly, are picked up by community, housing and health services, starting a pathway to long term recovery. A relatively small investment in this multidisciplinary team, specialising in connecting the dots, means much bigger long term savings in terms of A&E admissions and often long hospital stays. Not to mention the human benefit of a person supported to survive and once again thrive. As Lee Snowball, who has been through the Pathway model in London says, ‘It’s about giving people a chance – but it’s also forcing them to take the chance. Putting people around them, giving them the help they need. There are ways to get people off the streets and get their health going again, but you need to give people a push when they need that help.’
For more information on the Pathway model at Arch Healthcare, see the pages on our Hospital Inreach team in our Annual report.
Expert Citizens is a Community Interest Company led by people with lived experience of homelessness, mental ill- health, addiction, domestic abuse, poverty or histories of offending behaviour. Now in its second year, the INSIGHT Through Journalism Award recognises and celebrates journalism constructively exploring examples of practice that tackles social disadvantages.