A London hospital is pioneering a way to stop the so-called "revolving door" care of those who're homeless. At the moment, rough-sleepers can make a swift return for treatment, if they're sent back to the streets too soon. The Royal London in Whitechapel aims to prevent that, as Liz Wickham reports
Professor Graham Foster, the principal investigator for the trial, said:
"The London Pathway approach is about joining up the hospital with the outside world, rather than everyone working in silos. It aims to address the complete gulf that sometimes exists between primary, secondary and social care, housing and the voluntary sector.
"We have all these truly excellent resources working independently - now for the first time a clinical trial will measure the success of joining up those resources so that they can work more effectively and hopefully reduce re-admissions."
The Royal London Hospital is trialling a new way of caring for homeless patients, looking at their social and psychological needs as well as their medical ones.
The London Pathway approach will see all the patients' needs identified in the hospital before discharge, so that help can be arranged in time for their departure.
A nurse will act as the liaison between the hospital and outside organisations - such as a local housing authority or a patient's hostel manager - in the hope that this will reduce the chance of patients being re-admitted with the same health problems.