01 Jul 2021
The lack of temporary accommodation because of the COVID-19 pandemic is creating increased challenges in discharging people at risk of homelessness, according to new research from the Chartered Institute of Housing Cymru
In a revealing new study, CIH Cymru’s Tyfu Tai Cymru project commissioned Gana Consulting and C.A.R.P Collaborations to take a fresh look at what role housing advice plays when patients are discharged from hospital.
The research included a focus on how COVID-19 had impacted arrangements and sought the views of professionals, patients and carers across Wales.
The report found that:
The report makes a wide range of recommendations for health boards, the Welsh Government and other stakeholders who support the hospital discharge planning process. These include the need to ensure housing advice is considered as a central part of discharge planning, to involve housing experts at the earliest opportunity when a housing advice need becomes apparent and further consideration be given to how local authorities can be supported to facilitate hospital discharge with limited temporary accommodation in place as a result of the pandemic.
Catherine May | Tyfu Tai Cymru manager
This research shines a light on what can be achieved for people when housing experts are included in a joined-up way and housing advice used as part of the discharge planning process. It shows that discharge planning can vary widely depending on someone’s circumstances – from those who may present at a hospital but not be formally admitted, to those who undergo a procedure that will change their ongoing housing and care needs. Whilst we know a one size fits all approach does not work, there is a case to make sure housing advice is embedded so everyone can have access to it when they come into contact with healthcare services.
Matthew Kennedy | policy and public affairs manager, CIH Cymru
Whilst we know that not everyone who is admitted to hospital will need help or support with their housing this report shows that there are too many missed opportunities to identify housing needs that could ultimately help people stay well at home and avoid returning to hospital. Given the need to protect capacity in the NHS is even more important under the conditions of the COVID-19 crisis we’re urging the Welsh Government and health boards to act swiftly on the back of our recommendations to make those sensible links where we know housing advice could have a real impact on helping healthcare professionals in their high-pressure roles, and support better outcomes for patients, carers and families.
Notes for editors