It has been a fantastic year for H3's flagship project H4 Hospital. One year in, we would like to share with you our progress so far!
H4 Hospital is a Big Lottery funded project, which will see 4 years of support for homeless people to navigate health and housing services successfully.
Summary of Key Year One Activities:
1. With partners, develop the process and agreements which ensure that the hospital notifies project staff that a homeless patient has been admitted: we have developed genuine working relationships and data sharing agreements to enable this.
2. Agree a list of General Practitioners and other health professionals, including dentists, counsellors etc., who homeless people can be referred to. We have also secured referral mechanisms with health services such as IAPT and drug and alcohol services, as well as good working relationships with local pharmacies to improve prescription services for our beneficiaries. All of our beneficiaries are now able to access GPs at the very least.
3. Meet homeless patients (75 each year) at least 24 hours before discharge to develop support plan and agree accommodation to move on to: we have managed to meet every person within 24 hours, some in 1-2 hours where discharge is imminent – e.g. from A&E. So far, none of our beneficiaries have been "bed-blocking" at the hospital thanks to our interventions
4. Deliver twice weekly Health Advocate surgeries across three temporary accommodation schemes to meet and treat 75 beneficiaries each year: we deliver 1.5 hours at each scheme every week, seeing around 24 beneficiaries per month.
On top of this we have begun volunteering activities for year 2 early, met regularly with a steering group of strategic partners, and delivered training directly to hospital staff.
As with all monitoring - an understanding of outcomes is essential. The headline figures from year one are as follows:
- 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
One beneficiary has said of the programme, "I have been extremely lucky to have been supported by the H4 project after becoming homeless. The team found me temporary accommodation and are now helping me with day to day life to try and ensure that I reach the goals that I have been able to set with them. I can honestly say that I would be in a very different and lesser position if it was not for the work that this charity is providing."
A massive thanks goes out to our project workers, manager and partners who have enabled such amazing progress in just one year. We have big plans for development of the programme in year 2, watch this space!