Thursday, 16 May 2013

Stephen Metcalfe MP welcomes £10million for hospital aftercare for the homeless

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, has welcomed the news that homeless people are to receive better help once they leave hospital thanks to £10million funding from the Government. 
It is estimated that 70 per cent of homeless people are currently discharged from hospital back onto the street without their health and housing problems being properly addressed. 

The funding pot will support voluntary organisations to work with the NHS and local authorities to create services to ensure that homeless people receive the best possible support and care after leaving hospital.

The £10million funding will also be used to ensure better intermediate care is available after discharge - vital for recovering from health problems such as TB.

Housing Minister Mark Prisk said: “This country has some of the strongest protections against homelessness in the world, but there is always more to do. That is why we are working right across Government to make sure that every contact counts.

“Backed by £470 million Government investment in homelessness prevention, today’s funding will ensure vulnerable people are put in touch with the right help early on, getting their lives back on track, saving the need for repeat treatment.”

Rick Henderson, Chief Executive of Homeless Link, commented: This investment is fantastic news and will go a long way in addressing a real issue around the way the NHS deals with homeless people leaving hospital. Patching people up and sending them back out to the streets where their problems will recur only leads to readmission and continued problems.”

“This issue has existed for too long. We hope this investment will be the catalyst for hospitals, councils and charities to work together to stop this cycle of homelessness, poor health and readmission once and for all.”      

Stephen Metcalfe MP added: “This really is great news for homeless people up and down the country. The ill health of homeless people is extreme and disproportionate and I am delighted that the Government is so committed to addressing it.”

Homeless people attend A&E six times more than people with a home and are admitted to hospital four times as often. The cost of treating them in hospital is eight times higher than average at £85 million.