A new integrated model of healthcare for homeless people won first prize at the Andy Ludlow Homelessness Award’s ceremony in London last night.
The London Pathway service currently running at UCLH now has plans to share it’s model of care with other major hospitals across the capital. The London Pathway brings compassion back to the centre of health services with a specialist homelessness GP and specialist homelessness nurse working with patients to tackle all the problems in their lives during their stay in hospital, and coordinating the work of other medical teams.
Compared to patients with somewhere to live, homeless patients attend A&E six times more often, are admitted to hospital four times as often, stay twice as long and cost three times more, and at admission to hospital they are twice as sick. The average age of death of a homeless person has been estimated as between 40 and 44, equivalent to life expectancy in London over 200 years ago. Being homeless is bad for your health but homeless people are often also ‘tri-morbid’: they are suffering not only from a direct physical health problem (infected wounds, head injuries or TB for example) but will often be struggling with addiction and mental illness.
Speaking after the awards ceremony Dr Nigel Hewett, London Pathway clinical director and homelessness GP said:
“We are delighted and honoured to have won first prize. The recognition that the Andy Ludlow Award brings will really help as we start to share what we do with others working on homeless healthcare. It publicly rewards the incredible dedication of my two London Pathway nurses – Flo Cumberbatch and Trudy Boyce – and all the fantastic staff at UCLH who we work with, and who are trying to turnaround the lives of homeless people.”
The London Pathway is a new independent organization focused on driving up the standards of NHS healthcare for homeless people, bringing compassion and care back to the centre of health service provision. Speaking after the awards ceremony London Pathway chief executive Alex Bax said:
“For the London Pathway winning this award is fantastic. As a new organization this kind of recognition will be incredibly helpful as we spread our model to other hospitals and build relationships with others working on homeless healthcare. Key to our model is collaboration and coordination, working with all the agencies that work with the homeless, and using the time a patient is in hospital to try and put them on a better path when they leave.”
The London Pathway is an independent not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, now seeking charitable registration. It is currently hosted at UCLH Charities but is developing plans to spread its service model across London’s hospital sector and to other cities in the UK with significant street homeless populations. It was founded and is Chaired by Professor Aidan Halligan.
The London Pathway’s new web site is at www.londonpathway.org.uk
For media queries contact Ian Lloyd in the UCLH Press Office on: 020 7380 9506
Andy Ludlow Homelessness Award Press Release