Creating homes and places where people want to live

Housing scheme helping to free beds in local hospitals

13 July 2022

A Nottingham housing scheme that works to reduce hospital admissions has helped residents avoid 27,000 extra bed days in hospital or social care.  

Nottingham’s Housing to Health (H2H) project works within local hospitals to support patients whose discharge is being delayed due to housing issues. It speeds up the re-housing process so that patients can be discharged more quickly, to homes where they can live independently.

The project was launched in November 2015 and to date has rehoused 544 individuals into suitable social housing. The scheme also works to identify people who are living in poor or unsuitable accommodation that is negatively affecting their health.

Benefits of the scheme include:

  • free up high demand hospital beds
  • preventing hospital admissions / re-admissions
  • less homelessness,
  • reduced burden on Adult Social Care
  • save the NHS money.

The project is run between Nottingham City Homes, Nottingham City Council, local NHS hospitals and the Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Clinical Commissioning group.

Research estimates that the NHS spends around £820m a year treating older patients who no longer need to be in hospital. This scheme, which has helped to reduce the number and length of hospital admissions, has helped to avoid 382 re-admissions to Nottingham’s hospitals since its launch. The scheme has also helped:

  • 544 people rehoused to live independently
  • 27,000 avoided bed days in the NHS or social car
  • £1.9m NHS Cost saving
  • £8 million in savings/value generated for all partners

Over the last year alone, they have supported 90 people into rehousing, discharging 29 patients from beds and helped to avoid 4,000 extra bed days for the NHS and adult social care.

Case study - *Name has been changed

Gary* was admitted to hospital during Covid for an emergency amputation which left him wheelchair bound. An assessment showed he couldn't return home to his second-floor bedsit. Once he was fit for discharge, he was temporarily moved into a care home to free up much-needed acute bed space in the hospital. He was referred to the project, but restrictions meant he wasn't allowed to leave the care home or have visitors during the rehousing process. The team worked remotely with Gary to find a suitable bungalow for him, including sending him photos and videos of the property, arranging new furniture, specialist adaptations, equipment and a care package for Gary. He was able to move into the new property a few weeks after being discharged from hospital

 Cllr Toby Neal, Portfolio Holder for Housing and HR at Nottingham City Council, said: “Good housing has such an important impact on people’s health and wellbeing, so it’s great that we can continue the vital work that this scheme has already achieved. By working in partnership we can not only improve people’s lives but we are also helping reduce the burden on the Council, NCH and the NHS.

“I am proud that this scheme has continued to operate successfully during a challenging few years for both the health and housing sector. The pressure on the NHS during the pandemic has been huge and the need to free up hospital beds has never been more needed.”

Stephen Feast, Director of Housing at Nottingham City Homes, said: “Despite the pandemic, the Housing 2 Health project has continued to support patients in hospital or living in unsuitable housing to move into appropriate places where they can live safely and independently.

“It has been all the more important this year to support patients who are fit to be discharged to leave hospital as quickly as possible, and to reduce the risk of people being admitted to hospital. The results of the scheme speak for themselves and I look forward to seeing the number of people we support in the future.”

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