Paramedics were called to Jim, 48, after he was found in the lounge of his hostel, lying in urine and faeces. He had been there for two days, unable to move or climb the stairs to his room, and was suffering from alcohol withdrawal seizures and malnutrition. 

Jim was too ill to communicate, but his records showed that over the past decade he had attended hospital 155 times, been admitted 11 times and had spent 62 days as an inpatient. Most treatment had been related to self-harm or alcohol, and both had worsened when he lost his home, seven years earlier. 

Despite his horrific situation, Jim had not been given ongoing support, because his mental and physical health problems were considered alcohol-related. Doctors found that he had alcoholic fatty degeneration of liver, cerebral atrophy and symptoms of cerebellar ataxia and peripheral neuropathy, caused by brain and nerve damage. He was covered in scars from self-harm. 

The new Pathway team stepped in, and the specialist homeless GP produced a report about the impact of Jim’s homelessness on his health and well-being. The local council finally agreed to house Jim and the Pathway team worked with them to find a placement in a supportive residential care unit.