BBC Fame for Pathway Team

Pathway has been featured on the BBC News front page, and in a BBC World Hacks episode, with a video and radio programme about homelessness and healthcare.

The Pathway team at the Royal London Hospital spent a day with journalists, explaining how their work helps patients who are homeless:

  • find somewhere safe to stay,
  • reconnect with lost loved ones,
  • obtain lost identification documents,
  • get help with financial and legal issues,
  • find support to address any problems that contributed to losing their home.

Featuring alongside the homelessness hospital team, Patients Jacqueline and Gary kindly agreed to take part, with Lola the dog, who proved to be a canine superstar.

World Hacks is an innovative weekly BBC programme, exploring how we can solve the world’s problems.

Listen to the radio show about Pathway

Watch the short video about Pathway.

New UCL MSc Module in Inclusion Health

two men writing on a whiteboardA new MSc module in Inclusion Health will be launching at University College London this spring, in association with The Faculty for Homeless and Inclusion Health. The course, offering 7 days of learning over 7 weeks, includes material on:

  • Inclusion health populations and their health needs
  • The social determinants of health
  • Effective interventions for inclusion health communities
  • Data collation and statistics for inclusion health services

Teaching staff include leading Inclusion Health experts Dr Chris Sargeant and Dr Caroline Shulman, and chance to learn from people with lived experience of exclusion and ill health. Dr Sargeant said:

“This short course is an opportunity for researchers and people from across the health and social care sectors to formalise and extend their learning at a prestigious academic institution. We look forward to welcoming people at every stage of their career, and supporting the leading lights of inclusion health in the future.”

The course is available as an optional unit on UCL’s Population Health MSc, but can also be taken as a standalone unit with transferable academic credits, or simply for CPD. There are reduced rates for NHS staff, and a limited number of supported places for people with lived experience of homelessness and inclusion.

For more information, or to book your place by 23 March visit: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/iehc/study/homeless-inclusion-health-short-taster-course

Image courtesy of Jonathan Velasquez at Unsplash.

Pathway wins award to replicate homeless hospital team intervention

Pathway has been selected by the Health Foundation, an independent charity, to be part of an innovative programme to improve health and social care by using novel scaling approaches to widen use of successful health and social care interventions.

The Exploring Social Franchising and Licensing programme supports four organisations to replicate interventions that they have already tested and proven to work. The organisations will employ replication techniques, social franchising and licensing, that have not yet been used widely in the UK.

The initiative from Pathway improves healthcare for homeless hospital patients, by creating NHS teams to:

  • Support and advocate for patients who are homeless in hospital,
  • Help homeless patients to find accommodation and release NHS beds,
  • Support people dealing with financial issues
  • Access help to address personal problems that contribute to their homelessness
  • Help people reconnect with lost loved ones.

The approach has been proven to improve health and housing outcomes for patients and is currently used in 11 hospitals across England. Chief Executive Officer Alex Bax said:

“We are delighted to have won the chance to participate in this programme. It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to explore, with the experts, whether we can spread our ‘Pathway hospital team’ model more rapidly, to benefit some of the most vulnerable and excluded patients the NHS supports.”

The new programme will run for one year and each project will receive up to £145,000 to develop approaches that will enable the project to spread their successful health and care intervention to other sites across the UK in future. Sarah Henderson, Assistant Director at the Health Foundation said:

“We are very excited to support four outstanding project teams and organisations, selected because of their ambition, experience of spreading successful health and care interventions, and importantly, because we think their interventions have considerable potential to be replicated using social franchising or licensing techniques.

“Working together, as part of the Exploring Social Franchising and Licensing programme, we hope to increase understanding of whether social franchising and licensing can be used to support a more sustainable and systematic approach to replicating proven health and social care interventions and the conditions under which these methods are most useful. We hope that we can enable successful inventions to be used more widely to improve care for patients and service users.”

Ends

Notes to editors

The media contact for this story is Sushma Sangyam:
sushma.sangyam@health.org.uk
020 7257 2092

About the Health Foundation

The Health Foundation is an independent charity committed to bringing about better health and health care for people in the UK.
www.health.org.uk

About Pathway

Pathway works to improve healthcare for people who are homeless. We’ve helped the NHS create 11 teams of doctors, nurses and social care professionals work across England, supporting 3500 patients every year. Pathway also develops models to facilitate improvements in patient care, carries out research in new and developing areas, provides training for healthcare professionals and supports specialist commissioning.

The charity hosts The Faculty for Homeless and Inclusion Health, a network of over 1000 professionals and people with lived experience of exclusion, including vulnerable migrants, people who are homeless, from gypsy and traveller communities, or who sell sex.
www.pathway.org.uk

 

Can Pathway ‘Bag’ Your Vote?

Homeless health charity asks for help in Tesco ‘Bags of Help’ fundraising initiative  

 Pathway, a local group helping homeless people with serious illnesses has been shortlisted for a major supermarket charity scheme across the City. Tesco ‘Bags of Help’ gives money raised from carrier bag sales to community projects. Pathway is one of three groups that has been shortlisted for a grant of up to £4000.  

In London there are 6 Pathway teams in hospitals helping homeless patients to find accommodation, sort out financial problems and reconnect with lost family and loved ones. Without their help, many hospitals would be forced to discharge homeless patients to sleep rough after treatment, where many become seriously ill. 

 During November and December Tesco shoppers across the City will be able to vote for Pathway and other shortlisted charities using a token given to them at the checkout each time they shop. Alex Bax, Chief Executive of Pathway said 

 “Your token in the box can make a real different to the lives of people who are homeless. A little bit of help from a Pathway team has been proven to improve health outcomes for homeless patients, and improve housing status long after the support has been given.” 

Dr Peter Buchman, Clinical Lead for the Pathway homeless team at The Royal London Hospital said:

“Votes for Pathway will make a huge difference for homeless people in Tower Hamlets, funding ‘Dignity in Care’ packages containing much needed items such as toiletries and clean warm clothes for when patients are discharged. With the help of Pathway our team supports homeless patients at The Royal London Hospital to find accommodation, sort out financial problems and reconnect with lost family and loved ones. Without this we would be forced to send them to sleep rough after treatment, where many are at risk of becoming seriously unwell again.”

 Bags of Help has already given over £36 million to nearly 8000 projects across the UK. Alec Brown, Head of Community at Tesco, said: 

  “We are absolutely delighted to open the voting for November and December. There are some fantastic projects on the shortlists and we can’t wait to see these come to life in hundreds of communities.” 

Money raised by the scheme will go towards ‘Dignity in Care’ packages, making sure patients have toiletries and pyjamas during their stay, clean warm clothes when they are discharged, and bedding and crockery if they are moving into a home for the first time.  

Ends 

 

Notes to Editors

  1. The Bags of Help initiative is supported by money raised from carrier bag sales in Tesco stores.  
  2. Bags of Help funding is available to community groups and charities looking to fund local projects that bring benefits to communities. Anyone can nominate a project and organisations can apply online. For more information please visit: www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp 
  3. The scheme is administered by Groundwork. 
  4. Customers can vote for Pathway at the following Tesco stores: 

90 Mansell Street, E1 8AL
Aldersgate Express, EC1A 4JQ
Bishopsgate Metro, EC2M 4LN
Cheapside Metro, EC2V 6EE
Holborn Viaduct Express, EC1A 2AT
St Botolphs Express, EC3A 7DH
Blackfriars Express, EC4Y 0AA
Smithfield Express, EC1A 9LA
Monument Metro, EC3M 1AE
St Pauls Express, EC2V 6ET 

 

About Pathway

Pathway works to improve healthcare for people who are homeless. We’ve helped the NHS create 11 teams of doctors, nurses and social care professionals work across England, supporting 3500 patients every year. Pathway also develops models to facilitate improvements in patient care, carries out research in new and developing areas, provides training for healthcare professionals and supports specialist commissioning.  The charity hosts The Faculty for Homeless and Inclusion Health, a network of over 1000 professionals and people with lived experience of exclusion, including vulnerable migrants, people who are homeless, from gypsy and traveller communities, or who sell sex. 

Excluded People Ten Times More Likely To Die Early

People excluded from mainstream society in high-income countries have a tenfold increased risk of early death, according to research from UCL, homeless health charity Pathway and an international team of experts.

Candles from www.sxc.huThe researchers found the mortality rate among socially excluded groups including homeless people, people who sell sex, prisoners and people who use hard drugs, was nearly eight times higher than the population average for men, and nearly 12 times for women. By comparison, mortality rates for 15–64 year olds living in the poorest areas of England and Wales are 2.8 times the rate of those living in the richest areas for men and 2.1 times the rate for women.

The two papers, published today in The Lancet journal, highlight the extreme rates of death and disease faced by excluded people and lay out clear evidence for interventions that can help save lives and prevent people from finding themselves in such desperate situations.

The first paper shows that excluded people are more likely to be murdered or take their own life, but also more likely to die from accidents, overdoses, infectious diseases, cancers, liver disease, heart problems and respiratory diseases. In total, researchers analysed data from 38 countries with the UK, USA, Sweden, Australia and Canada providing the highest amount of data.

The lead author of the first paper, Dr Robert Aldridge (UCL Institute of Health Informatics) said:

“We know that excluded populations suffer from lack of access to basic healthcare, but this new research shows the frightening extent of the problem: it’s much worse than we thought. People experiencing homelessness, those with drug addictions, prisoners and those who sell sex are far more likely to develop serious health problems and die early.”

Professor Andrew Hayward (UCL Institute of Epidemiology and Healthcare), senior author of the first paper and Pathway Trustee, added:

“It is no surprise that socially excluded groups have poor health outcomes but the extent of the disparities in wealthy countries is an affront to our values. Socially excluded groups are the canaries in the mine – they point to something toxic in our society.

Extreme social exclusion affects at least half a million people in England every year, but the true figure is likely to be much higher, as national datasets do not ask about these problems. Exclusion, and its health consequences, often result from many years of multiple problems such as poverty, adverse experiences and psychological trauma during childhood.”

The second paper outlines a range of interventions that work to help excluded people including drug treatment, case management, and psychological therapies. Broader work to tackle poverty, unemployment and housing problems can also prevent social exclusion but have been less well studied for their health effects.

“Our research shows how best we can support the most excluded. We urgently need investment and co-ordination between government, health services and social care providers to deliver high-quality comprehensive services in the community, on the streets and in institutional settings such as prisons and hospitals. Supportive values include providing time, building trust, promoting accessibility, fairness and equality. The inequity we have shown is preventable,”

said Ms Serena Luchenski (UCL Institute of Health Informatics & Pathway Public Health Fellow), lead author of the second paper. Dr Nigel Hewett, Medical Director of Pathway, Secretary of the Faculty for Homeless and Inclusion Health, and senior author of the second paper added:

“There are already examples of teams working together in the integrated way that is supported by this research. These include GP and nurse led Pathway homeless teams working in hospitals, and other services who take health care to people in hostels, drop-in centres and on the streets. The challenge in the UK is that health, housing and social care are overwhelmed by austerity and find it difficult to develop the capacity to work collaboratively.”

The researchers also highlight previous studies which have shown that “housing first models”, which give people a stable place to live before addressing addiction or mental health problems, can be effective in improving health and social outcomes and reducing crime.

“The single most important thing we can do to prevent social exclusion is to tackle poverty, particularly amongst children. This is the key structural driver of homelessness and the other forms of social exclusion considered in these papers,”

said Professor Suzanne Fitzpatrick, Director of the Institute for Social Policy, Housing and Equalities Research (I-SPHERE) at Heriot-Watt University and co-author on the second paper.

“In the UK that means, at a minimum, rolling back the current programme of welfare reform cutbacks that are set to drive child poverty up substantially in the coming years. Social housing plays a vital role in mitigating the worst effects of poverty for many families, but there is a desperate shortfall. Theresa May’s recent announcement of 5,000 extra social homes per year in England is welcome but nowhere near enough.”

 

Notes to editors

For more information please contact Rowan Walker, UCL Media Relations, t.0203 108 8515 or rowan.walker@ucl.ac.uk. For out-of-hours enquiries (on Sunday 13 November) please call Chris Lane on +44 (0)7917 271364.

The health impact of social exclusion: a systematic review and meta-analysis of morbidity and mortality data from homeless, prison, sex work and substance use disorder populations in high-income countries’ is available to view on the Lancet website. It is an open access paper that is free to view.

What works in Inclusion Health: overview of effective interventions for marginalised and excluded populations’ is available to view on the Lancet website. It is free to access, but you will need to register for a free Lancet account.

 

About Pathway

Pathway works to improve healthcare for people who are homeless. We’ve helped the NHS create 11 teams of doctors, nurses and social care professionals work across England, supporting 3500 patients every year.

Pathway also develops models to facilitate improvements in patient care, carries out research in new and developing areas, provides training for healthcare professionals and supports specialist commissioning.

The charity hosts The Faculty for Homeless and Inclusion Health, a network of over 1000 professionals and people with lived experience of exclusion, including vulnerable migrants, people who are homeless, from gypsy and traveller communities, or who sell sex.

www.pathway.org.uk | Follow us on Twitter @PathwayUK

 

About UCL (University College London)

UCL was founded in 1826. We were the first English university established after Oxford and Cambridge, the first to open up university education to those previously excluded from it, and the first to provide systematic teaching of law, architecture and medicine. We are among the world’s top universities, as reflected by performance in a range of international rankings and tables. UCL currently has over 39,000 students from 150 countries and over 12,500 staff. Our annual income is more than £1 billion.

www.ucl.ac.uk | Follow us on Twitter @uclnews | Watch our YouTube channel YouTube.com/UCLTV

 

‘A Second Class Ending’

CQC and Faculty paper highlights ways to improve end of life care for homeless people

An image of a shadowy bed, with half light from a windowA report released today by the Care Quality Commission, drawing upon research from the Faculty for Homeless and Inclusion Health, raises concerns that homeless people are struggling to access the care they need as they face the end of their lives.

People whose needs are the most overlooked are often those who are least able to advocate for themselves. A Second Class Ending highlights problems including fragmented support, inadequate services and few genuine options for homeless people in their last weeks and days of life, leaving many without the support they need.

However it also highlights numerous examples of good practice, where health and social care providers, palliative care specialists and homelessness staff have worked together to meet the significant needs of people facing this situation.

Dr Briony Hudson, Pathway Fellow and Research Associate at Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Department at UCL, comments:

“Enormous pressure is currently being placed on hostels who struggle to support people with very poor health, due to a lack of alternatives. Options for place of care and multidisciplinary working are key to improving quality of life for people experiencing homelessness, especially towards the end of their lives. We’re delighted to see the examples of good practice and joint working highlighted in this report, and there are many lessons to be learned from them.”

Stan Burridge, Pathway’s Expert by Experience Lead, was homeless for almost 20 years. He recently documented his experience of trying to see a GP whilst he was homeless for the BMJ. Stan said:

“Seeing a GP who understood homelessness was the first step to getting my life back on track. Without him, I think my health would have continued to the spiral out of control, and I could have ended up as one of the many homeless people who die an early death.”

Read the CQC report

Is Your Surgery ‘Homeless Ready’?

Pathway in the BMJ

Pathway’s Expert by Experience Lead, Stan, has been making waves with his latest article in the British Medical Journal (BMJ). Entitled ‘Three forms of ID and a Letter from God‘. His piece outlines the struggles faced by people who are homeless, who need to see a GP.

The majority of people who are homeless have a physical or mental health problem, but incorrectly enforced regulation around proof of address prevents many from accessing support. Possibly as a result, people who are homeless use A&E 6 times more than people with a home.

Stan’s passionate article is based on his own experiences of life on the streets, and his subsequent recovery, assisted by a specialist homelessness GP. The article is part of Pathway’s ongoing work to help GP receptionists to support registration for people who are homeless.

Access free homelessness training for GP receptionists
Download the Faculty of Homeless and Inclusion Health National Standards for GP Receptionists

Charities Make Plea for Homeless Patients

A coalition of homeless health experts are calling upon Secretary of State Jeremy Hunt to help homeless hospital patients ahead of the new Homelessness Reduction Act.

78% of people who are homeless have one or more health problems, but fragmented NHS IT systems struggle to recording patient’s housing status or alert housing departments. In some cases patients have been discharged straight from hospital to sleep on the streets,.

The average age of death for a homeless man is 47, for a woman it is 43. To help prevent these deaths, and unsafe discharges, homeless health charity Pathway, Crisis, The London Homeless Health Programme and Professor Andrew Hayward, Director of the Institute of Epidemiology & Health Care and the Farr Institute for Health Informatics at University College London are calling for a small change to NHS IT systems, so that people entering hospital are asked where they are living, and if they are at risk of homelessness.

In 2018 the new Homelessness Reduction Act will place obligations on NHS organisations to refer patients who are at risk of homelessness for help. To make this change in time the NHS needs to act urgently to agree a standard way to record housing status.

Alex Bax, Pathway Chief Executive said:

“This simple change could help thousands of people who are homeless and in hospital get the support they need to put life back together, and help prevent many people from becoming homeless.”

Changes to systems are likely to be required ahead of the Homelessness Reduction Act, coming into force next April, which requires public bodies to help people at risk of homelessness. Specialist homelessness nurse Samantha Dorney-Smith said:

“It’s vital that health services support people who are homeless. We want people to know that health services care, and we’re here to help. Without the right support we know that homeless people often face an early death in tragic circumstances.”

Close.
Interviews and case studies are available on request

Contact

Cat Whitehouse, Communications Officer
cat.whitehouse@pathway.org.uk
020 3447 8780
www.pathway.org.uk

 

Notes to Editors

  1. A letter entitled ‘Making homelessness visible in the NHS’ was sent to The Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Secretary of State for Health on 18th October 2017 (file enclosed).
  2. The letter was accompanied by a technical note, detailing the change required to NHS IT systems (file enclosed).
  3. The Homelessness Reduction Act received royal assent on 27th April 2017 and comes into force in April 2018.
  4. One of the provisions in The Act places a duty on statutory bodies to refer people at risk of homelessness to services that can support them.

About Pathway

Pathway works to improve healthcare for homeless people. The charity has helped the NHS to create teams of doctors, nurses and social care professionals within 11 hospitals across England, supporting over 3500 patients who are homeless every year.

Pathway develops models to facilitate improvements in patient care, carries out research in new and developing areas, provides training for healthcare professionals and supports specialist commissioning.

The charity is also host to The Faculty for Homeless and Inclusion Health, a network of over 1000 professionals and people with lived experience of exclusion, including vulnerable migrants, people who are homeless, people from gypsy and traveler communities and people who sell sex.

Joint Statement on Inclusion Health

Leading health professionals have issued a joint statement on inclusion health calling for joined up thinking on homelessness, exclusion, inequality and health in the wake of the Homelessness Reduction Act.

The statement, from The Academy of Royal Medical Colleges (the coordinating body for all 24 medical Royal Colleges and Faculties across the UK) and The Faculty for Homeless and Inclusion Health, recognises inclusion health as a discipline and commits all Royal Medical Colleges to redressing “extreme health and social inequities among the most vulnerable and marginalised”.

In light of the statement, The Faculty will be working with the Royal College of Physicians and other key partners to help clinicians understand their duties to refer patients for support under the new legislation. Dr Nigel Hewett, Secretary to the Faculty for Homeless and Inclusion Health said:

“Faculty members come from across the NHS and beyond. They work together to get the best outcome for their patients. Every discipline in healthcare has a contribution to make to the care of our most vulnerable fellow citizens. The recognition of our shared responsibilities in this statement is a huge leap towards that goal.”

The Homelessness Reduction Act received Royal Assent on 27th of April. It’s provisions are expected to come into force in 2018.

Click here to download the joint statement (external website)

Health Heroes Against Homelessness

North-west professionals tackle homelessness & health

A group of passionate health professionals are meeting in Manchester next week to discuss the city’s worsening homelessness crisis.

The regional meeting of the Faculty for Homeless and Inclusion Health, will bring together doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, hostel workers and commissioners to look at new ways of providing support to people who are homeless who have mental health problems. Over 70% percent of people who are homeless have a physical or mental health problem. People who’ve lost their home are more likely to suffer depression, more likely to feel suicidal and are more likely to suffer from serious illnesses such as epilepsy, diabetes and emphysema.

Rachel Brennan, Manager of the Homeless Service at Urban Village Medical Practice who are hosting the meeting said:

“Every day we see patients who are struggling with homelessness and horrendous health problems. All of us need good healthcare, but it’s especially vital that patients who’ve fallen through the net can get the support they need to get back on their feet.”

Michael is a patient at the practice. He slept rough in Manchester on and off for 4 years, until his health deteriorated and he was hospitalised. With the support of the hospital homeless service, Mpath, Michael got into a hostel and got healthcare and drug treatment. As his health and stability increased, he leapt at the chance to move into his own home. He now manages his health conditions with a local GP practice. Michael said:

“Without help from Urban Village and other supporting staff I think I would have died on the streets. Through the practice I’ve completed Hepatitis C treatment, come off alcohol and drugs and got my own place. I can’t thank everyone enough for their help.”

Alex Bax, CEO of Pathway, who host the Faculty of Homeless and Inclusion Health said:

“Good health services can change the lives of people who are homeless. The best services bring together health, housing and social care. Andy Burnham’s commitment to join up services across the city is an amazing opportunity for change.”

Close.

Pictures are available on request.

 

Contact

Cat Whitehouse, Communications Officer
cat.whitehouse@pathway.org.uk
020 3447 8780

 

Notes to Editors

  1. The Faculty for Homeless and Inclusion Health Regional meeting will take place on 26 July 2017, 17:00 – 19:30 at Urban Village Medical Practice, Ancoats Primary Care Centre, Old Mill Street, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 6EE.
  2. Inclusion health is a discipline focusing on the health needs of  people who are homeless, vulnerable migrants, gypsy and traveller communities and people who sell sex, groups that all struggle to access healthcare, but often have serious health problems.
  3. The Academy of Royal Medical Colleges has recently made a joint statement on inclusion health with The Faculty, committing all 24 of the UK and Ireland’s Medical Royal Colleges and Faculties to reducing inequality.

 

About The Faculty

The Faculty for Homeless and Inclusion Health is a network of over 1000 professionals working in inclusion health – a discipline supporting

  • People who are homeless
  • People who sell sex
  • People from gypsy and traveller communities
  • Migrants who are vulnerable

Members include doctors, dentists nurses, social workers, public health experts, support workers, researchers, commissioners and people with lived experience of exclusion. Faculty membership is free, and offers research and updates on inclusion health issues, a network of regional meetings and training events and consultation around the National Service Standards for Homeless and Inclusion Health, endorsed by the Royal College of Physicians. The Faculty is hosted by Pathway, a charity helping the NHS to support homeless people.