The introduction of a homeless healthcare team in hospital improves staff knowledge and attitudes towards homeless patients.
Clin Med (Lond). 2019 Jul;19(4):294-298
Authors: Barrow V, Medcalf P
It is estimated that 12,300 people slept rough in 2018, a 98% increase since 2010. Similar trends can be seen in the number of people living in tents or sleeping on overnight public transport. Such individuals are five times more likely than age-matched, housed people, to attend hospital. This is due to the severe ill-health and poor engagement with primary care, prevalent among this population. Following the introduction of the Homeless Reduction Act 2017, hospitals must now take a more personalised approach to their homeless patients, ensuring that ongoing care is accessible after discharge. Here, we demonstrate that employment of a dedicated homeless housing officer within a district general hospital can radically improve both staff attitudes towards this patient group as well as individual patient outcomes.
PMID: 31308106 [PubMed - in process]