Since 2012, H3 has been running H4 Hospital to support homeless people with high use of acute medical services.
H4 Hospital was set up to prevent homeless people being discharged from hospital in an unplanned manner. It clearly links housing and health to ensure a smooth and timely transition for service users, reducing unplanned discharges and the risk of street homelessness. It also ensures that service users are supported to access appropriate resources once back in the community, rather than becoming detached and going back to using emergency service provision.
H4 Hospital has with six overarching project aims which ensure that homeless people:
Have a suitable place to stay which is ready for them when they are discharged from Hospital;
Are supported to access long term settled accommodation after dealing with their immediate homelessness issue;
Have access to a named GP and other health professionals (e.g. Health Advocate) in the community as needed;
Report a reduced use of crisis services in the future, e.g. inappropriate A&E visits;
Are enabled to volunteer within the H3 charity and give something back as well as developing new skills and gaining the opportunity to socialise;
Report that they feel improved wellbeing and confidence to manage their health and housing independently.
H4 Hospital is run through 2 key advocates; a Homeless Housing Advocate and a Homeless Health Advocate. Advocates provide rapid response services within hospital to complete housing assessments, work with ward staff and manage discharge into safe accommodation. The Homeless Health Advocate works on a 1-1 basis with service users to increase self-management, facilitate access to primary and local care, and support them into wellbeing actitivities. The service works on a referral basis from ward staff - training on when and how to refer can be provided. See our animation video below which explains how this service was developed and now runs. A transcript for this video is available here.
H4 Hospital is focused on people presenting to acute services in Stockport (Stepping Hill Hospital), however we also provide telephone consultation advice to Wythenshawe (Wythenshawe Hospital). We can support service users to access accommodation out of area.
Outcomes for service users (over 1 year)
58 homeless people supported into suitable accommodation upon discharge
107 homeless people supported to access a GP, Health Advocate and other community health support as needed
80 homeless people using local health services and reporting and reduction in their use of crisis services
58 homeless people supported into long term settled accommodation
3 people volunteering through H3
58 homeless people reporting increased health and wellbeing, and confidence to manage their health and housing needs independently
Training delivered to Junior Doctors, Nurses and Ward Clerks via team meetings and formal hospital learning events
No homeless person spending an extra night in the hospital once medically fit for discharge
Outcomes for hospitals
Reduced bed-blocking and associated costs by ensuring homeless people do not remain on wards once medically fit for discharge
Reduction of 'frequent flyer' patients
Increased awareness amongst hospital staff of homelessness issues and housing related support available to homeless patients
Improved information gathering and sharing between the hospital and housing organisations
Improved patient experience
Identification of gaps between services that lead to better referral protocols
H4 Hospital is a Big Lottery funded project delivered through a partnership between homelessness charity H3 (Helping the Homeless into Housing) and Stockport Homes, an Arms-Length Management Organisation which manages housing stock and services on behalf of Stockport Council.
We have also formed working partnerships with a range of agencies to increase the efficiency of this service and support its development. These include; Stepping Hill Hospital, Hospital Social Care teams, Hospital Discharge teams, Mastercall Clinical Supervision, local GP services, Stockport MIND, University of Manchester Medical School.
Make a Referral
Contact our Advocates to find out more about the service, to receive training on working with homeless patients, or to make a referral.
Homeless Health Advocate - 07946645797 (Katie Martin)
Homeless Housing Advocate - 07946645802
Development Officer - 07800618628 (Molly Bishop)