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P3 Hospital Discharge Scheme Shortlisted for Patient Safety Award

Rachel Reeves 28 July 2022

A joint P3-NHS initiative supporting people who are at risk of homelessness on leaving hospital has been shortlisted for a prestigious industry award.
The Gloucester/Cheltenham Safeguarding Team for Gloucestershire Royal and Cheltenham General Hospitals is a finalist for the NHS Safeguarding title under the Health Service Journal Patient Safety Awards.
The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony in Manchester on 15 September.
Amanda Page, P3’s Hospital In-Reach Worker for Safe Spaces Gloucestershire, explained that while her role with the team had initially been limited to finding housing for people on leaving hospital, it had quickly evolved.
“There are some people with very complex needs who are frequent hospital attendees,” she said.
“I work with them for a month or two and make sure they don’t just find housing, but also get the range of support that they need within Gloucestershire and Cheltenham.
“At the moment, it can be a 48-hour wait in the hospitals to get from the emergency department to the wards. It’s therefore very important that people whose needs can be met by their GP or housing team can be discharged safely.
“At the same time, we want to reduce the chances of a hospital readmission and so we work to ensure people have the right wraparound support in place when they are discharged. This reduces the risk for their health deteriorating further and returning to hospital in a worsened condition.”
Working alongside NHS staff members in the team, Amanda makes sure that vulnerable people are linked with the right support agencies, such as those providing healthcare for people who have experienced homelessness and Change Grow Live, which runs substance misuse and criminal justice intervention projects. She also ensures people are discharged with dignity and have suitable, clean clothes to wear (as many people’s clothes have to be removed for emergency procedures such as resuscitation).
Amanda also assists people with daily tasks such as shopping, access to GPs and wider medical services and obtaining identification documents, such as birth certificates and passports.
The hospital in-reach service was developed by safeguarding nurse Shona Duffy after seeing two colleagues doing similar support work for people with learning disabilities.
Amanda added: “We are also creating surveys for the people we work alongside to fill in regarding their care and support, for teaching purposes. We’re encouraging them to be as brutal and honest as possible so that doctors can learn from them and treat people who are street homeless who require hospital care in a properly holistic manner.
“I get a lot of job satisfaction from this, knowing I’m helping the NHS. It costs about £1200 a night to have someone on a ward so it’s really important that the people in the wards are the ones who do need to be there and everyone else can get their support needs met properly within the community.
“I really enjoy working alongside the people we support – you do meet some real characters!”

Photo by CDC on Unsplash, posed by models