Healthcare of homeless helped by new pathway

A new pathway designed to improve the healthcare provided to homeless people in Leeds was officially launched today during an event at the Civic Hall, Leeds.

Homeless Accommodation Leeds Pathway (HALP) is a ground breaking project that will see Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust work with a number of third sector organisations to provide better support to some of the most vulnerable people in the city.

Organisations involved include Crime Reduction Initiatives (CRI), who provide street outreach to homeless people; Foundation, who arrange resettlement and housing support; and St George’s Crypt, who run emergency accommodation for those sleeping rough.

The pathway has received support from Leeds City Council who is keen to improve the service provided to homeless people in Leeds once they leave hospital which will reduce hospital admission and readmissions.
The pathway will come into effect once someone in a hospital ward has been identified as being homeless. The HALP team will visit them to assess their needs. The team can make use of beds at St George’s Crypt so an individual can receive additional support away from the hospital along with ongoing healthcare being provided by York Street Health Practice.

Speakers at the launch included Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Chair of the Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board, and Professor Aidan Halligan, Chair of the London Pathway for Homeless Hospital Discharge. Prof. Halligan was invited after helping establish the London pathway, with successes from this model influencing the local scheme developed in Leeds.

Other guests included the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Tom Murray and representatives of the organisations involved.

Catherine Hall, head of service at Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust said: “This is a great opportunity for the city and showcases the innovative work that we are doing together to improve the health of the homeless and to provide the best possible care in every community.”

Cllr Lisa Mulherin said: “Leeds is absolutely committed to working in new and innovative ways which deliver the best results. Services across the city working in an integrated way can give people a fresh chance in life. The Homeless Accommodation Leeds Pathway means we can support homeless people and give them better health, better outcomes to treatment and make Leeds a better place.”

Professor Aidan Halligan said: “It is about never giving up on people. It means we can motivate homeless people to want to live again, making a huge difference to people who are invisible in our communities and giving them a second chance.”

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