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Partnership helps ease patient discharge in Wakefield hospitals

Published 4 April 2022

Between April 2021 to December 2021, Wakefield District Housing (WDH) has worked in partnership with the Wakefield Mental Health Alliance to help over 150 people get safely discharged out of hospital.

The Housing Co-ordinator Partnership works with Mid Yorkshire Hospital Trust (funding for this post is provided through the Wakefield CCG) and South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, with the aim of supporting patients to be safely discharged from hospital when they are well enough.

Established in April 2018, 94% of patients who have received the service have been discharged back into the community without any delays, freeing up much needed hospital beds and relieving pressures on the local health services and NHS during the pandemic.

WDH’s Housing Co-ordinators, based at both Mid Yorkshire and Fieldhead hospitals, help patients who are fit to be discharged but may have housing issues preventing them from leaving hospital safely. Those issues could include having no home to go to, needing adaptations to their home or simply needing extra wellbeing support. The Housing Co-ordinators help provide what’s needed, including help with applications, arranging repairs or adaptations, and signposting to other partners when needed.

Early patient intervention and support ensures housing barriers can be addressed and resolved in a timely manner. Since its inception the partnership has helped over 600 patients to either move into new accommodation or to return home safely with the right support in place.

One patient, who worked with one of WDH’s Housing Co-ordinators, said: “Thank you so much for helping me find new accommodation for when I was well enough to leave hospital. I’m extremely grateful to finally have a new home to look forward to. I am over the moon and will be forever grateful for all the support in helping change my life. I am looking forward to a fresh start in a new home in a new area.”

Regionally the programme has received recognition from the West Yorkshire Health and Care Partnership and featured in the ‘Housing for Health’ report published in October 2020. This has prompted further research into the links between housing and health, and interest from other areas to replicate the model. The service was also nominated for the Resident Support / Advice Programme of the Year at last year’s Northern Housing Awards; and is currently shortlisted in the Best Mental Health Partnership category at the Health Service Journal (HSJ) Awards held later this month.

Sean Rayner, Director of Provider Development at South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said: “I am delighted that the Mental Health Alliance has been able to jointly fund and support the Housing Co-ordinator post at Fieldhead, and that they are achieving great outcomes for our patients and for local people. This innovative approach is making sure that when patients leave hospital it is at the right time for them, and that they are supported to live well in their communities with housing that suits their needs. I am proud that this joint initiative is making a difference to the lives of so many.”

Andrew Wallhead, Chief Executive at WDH, said: “We know that person centered care co-ordinated in and around an individual’s home helps a patient recover better after being in hospital. Our partnership approach and the Housing Coordinators at Fieldhead and the Mid Yorkshire Trust hospitals, continues to help to reduce delays to discharge due to housing issues and helps people get the right accommodation and support they need allowing them to return home safely and reduce the chances of readmission. The value of this service has been recognised and I am pleased to say that they are both now permanent positions in their respective hospitals with funding streams in place to continue to help remove housing related barriers that are preventing a timely discharge for patients."

 

                                              

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