|New £10 million pot to fund hospital aftercare for the homeless|
Mary Macleod MP welcomes Government funding for homeless patients leaving hospital
Mary Macleod MP welcomed this week’s announcement by Public Health Minister Anna Soubry that homeless people are to receive better help once they leave hospital thanks to a new £10 million fund.
Homeless people attend Accident & Emergency units six times more than people with a home and are admitted to hospital four times as often. The cost of treating them in hospital is eight times higher than average at £85 million per year.
It is estimated currently that 70% of homeless people are discharged from hospital back onto the street without their health and housing problems being properly addressed. The new funding pot will support voluntary organisations to work with the NHS and local authorities to support and care for homeless people after leaving hospital.
The funding will also be used to ensure better intermediate care is available after discharge – something that is critical for those recovering from health problems such as tuberculosis (TB).
“Today’s announcement is a significant step forward in addressing the health and housing needs of homeless people in Britain today. I believe that as a society we have a responsibility to support those people that need it most. This funding will make a real difference to the lives of homeless people that are discharged from hospitals around the UK.
“The Hounslow Borough has the fourth highest TB rate in London and along with early diagnosis, providing support to homeless TB patients to encourage them to complete their course of treatment is a key factor in tackling this disease.
“I am passionate about supporting our local community and earlier this year I saw firsthand the fantastic work of the Shelter Project bringing together local churches to support the homeless during the winter months. I am delighted the Government has announced this extra funding.”
Charles Fraser, Chief Executive of St Mungo’s, said:
“This is fantastic news. The ill-health of homeless people is extreme and disproportionate, and the government's very clear commitment to addressing that is enormously welcome. Recent history has shown that targeting is the most effective way of helping homeless people. We very much look forward to working closely with our partners in local government and the local NHS, as well as with the Department of Health, to turn this announcement into a reality which will transform people's lives.”
July 10, 2012