King’s Health Partners Pathway Homeless Team, based at Guy’s and St Thomas’ and King’s College Hospital, has received ongoing funding from Lambeth and Southwark CCGs and has extended to include South London and Maudsley Mental Health Trust (SLaM).
Over the last year the inter-professional team - including nurses, GPs, housing workers, an occupational therapist, a social worker and a peer advocate from Groundswell (a charity supporting homeless people) has integrated the care of homeless and vulnerably housed inpatients across the three hospital trusts.
The team receives referrals for people who are homeless or vulnerably housed (including homeless hostel dwellers, those in temporary accommodation, squatters and those at immediate threat of eviction). Staff are closely linked with Guy’s and St Thomas’ Health Inclusion Team and other Pathway homeless teams in London.
Relationships with housing departments and housing commissioners have been key to success, as have innovative projects including the team’s frequent attenders forum, which has successfully created active working partnerships with outreach services, hostel managers and the London Ambulance Service.
The launch of the SLaM team service is also very exciting. This is the first time that a Pathway Homeless Team has delivered a service in a mental health trust. The funding award has enabled a three-year pilot of the service with an associated economic evaluation. The SLAM service started on 23 February.