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Specialist support for people who are homeless reduces emergency hospital readmissions

NIHR reports on impact of recent Unit study

NIHR circles

The National Institute for Health and Care Research has published an article on its website describing the findings and impact of a study that was led from the NIHR Policy Research Unit in Health and Social Care Workforce.

Michelle Cornes and colleagues evaluated specialist discharge schemes for homeless people when they leave hospital. The article reports that '[v]isits to accident and emergency departments were nearly one-fifth lower among homeless patients who were discharged to a step-down service compared with those who were not.' National discharge hospital guidance has been changed as a result. A support tool, developed by the researchers, is 'now embedded in national hospital discharge guidance for local government authorities and NHS England'.

The study’s evidence was also used to advise government policymakers on how to strengthen safeguarding for homeless patients. This led to improved information and training for NHS staff about homeless health and updated NHS England guidance confirming that it is not safe practice to discharge patients to the street. – National Institute for Health and Care Research website

Michelle Cornes, recently made Professor of Health and Social Policy Inequalities at the University of Salford, retains a visiting position at King's. She is presently co-leading a follow-on study: Evaluation of the Out-of-Hospital Care Models programme for people experiencing homelessness.

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Michelle Cornes

Michelle Cornes

Visiting Professor