Pathway has developed a model of integrated healthcare for homeless people. A Pathway hospital team puts the patient at the centre of their own care and works to transform health outcomes for one of the most vulnerable and deprived groups in our society. This simple model, developed for and with homeless people, can also benefit other multiply excluded groups who come in to hospital. Pathway teams are NHS staff but have access to training, advice and support from Pathway’s core team and from other colleagues across our network.
Pathway believes generosity, kindness, and compassion combined with a passionate commitment to professional quality should be the defining characteristics of health services for all people experiencing homelessness or social exclusion.
What does a Pathway team do?
Hospital ward rounds
A Pathway ward round is led by an accredited homeless GP, supported by a specialist homeless health nurse practitioner, visiting every homeless patient admitted to the hospital to co-ordinate all aspects of care and make plans with the patient for discharge. We have developed a training and support package for hospitals wishing to adopt our model, including sample job descriptions, training materials, and a wide range of operational resources for Pathway teams.
Homeless health nurse practitioners
Specialist homeless health nurses work full time in the hospital supporting the ward round, liaising with medical staff across the hospital and with all other agencies involved, and providing daily support to homeless patients. They work with our patients to plan for life after hospital. Pathway works with hospitals to recruit and select a homeless health nurse, and we will then train and support each Pathway nurse in practice.
With a personal experience of homelessness, Pathway Care Navigators befriend, support, and mentor homeless patients in the hospital, helping them navigate the hospital environment, housing and benefit systems, and accompanying patients to meetings and appointments to provide advocacy and emotional support.
Needs assessment and start-up support
Before establishing a Pathway service in a hospital it is important to understand current practice, assess local levels of need, and shape a service that will fit local circumstances. Pathway provides a bespoke development service to guide local health service staff to establish a service that meets our standards, and delivers the right outcomes for patients.
Post discharge support
Some Pathway teams offer support to recently discharged homeless patients in community settings, to ensure that links made for patients with community based services while the patient is in hospital actually happen in the first few days after leaving hospital.
Accreditation, professional support and training
In partnership with the Faculty for Homeless and Inclusion Health, a support network for homeless health specialists, Pathway has developed clinical standards and accreditation to ensure that new services incorporate our value and ethos.
Research and service development support
Pathway has a network of experienced NHS clinicians who can advise colleagues on health service provision for the most excluded. We have also developed our capacity to carry out our own research projects with a particular focus on service user involvement and helping services engage with, and listen to, service users. For more information on how we might be able to help you, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Service User Involvement
Pathway are committed to involving those with lived experience in the work we do. For more about our work with current and former service users please email email@example.com