Nottingham housing scheme helps avoid 27,000 unnecessary bed days

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

Nottingham’s Housing to Health (H2H) project works within local hospitals to support patients whose discharge has been 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.

So-called delayed discharges, which are often the product of a lack of local housing and adult care services, are a common reason for NHS hospital bed pressures.

The H2H project was launched in November 2015 and has so far 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.

The project is run between Nottingham City Homes, Nottingham City Council, local NHS hospitals and local NHS commissioners.

empty hospital bed inside room

Research estimates that the NHS spends around £820m a year treating older patients who no longer need to be in hospital. H2H has helped to avoid 382 readmissions to Nottingham’s hospitals since its launch. Organisers say the scheme has also rehoused 544 people to live independently, while avoiding 27,000 bed days in the NHS or social care.

Over the last year alone, H2H has 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.

Toby Neal, housing portfolio leader 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.’

Photo by Adhy Savala


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