Health & Housing
Time to Heal
Following a succesful pilot in 2013, the Time to Heal project has been working to help make sure that homeless patients are not discharged from Gloucester Royal Hospital onto the streets.
The service is well established and valued byt the medical staff and other services or agencies operating from the hospital with whom we have been able to develop excellent working relationships.
The service is easy to access with the intial referral being made by phone. Once the referral is received our staff visit the patient to complete an assessment. This assessment allows us to develop a plan to make sure that some form of housing is avaliable for the person on discharge. This may be temporary accomodation in the first place, especially if the most suitable form of housing is not immediately avaliable. However, we will continue to work with them with a view to securing a stable and suitable home.
As well as having somewhere safe and warm to stay we refer the person to a GP at the Homeless Healthcare Team, help them access benefits and provide general support and advocacy based on their individual needs.
The project has been beneficial for all involved not just the patients. Previously doctors, nurses, social workers and the Hospital Discharge Team had little alternative but to send vulnerable people back to the street where they would struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This often meant that they would soon be hospitalised again.
Being able to work with other agencies to offer hope to people when they are often at their most vulnerable has been extremely rewarding and we pleased to be able to continue to offer this service to those in need.
The Time to Heal service is based at Gloucester projects office.