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Monday, May 28, 2012

70% of Homeless patients are discharged from the NHS onto the street.

The Department of Health commissioned this report (link here) into Homelessness's link with NHS Discharges. The report produced by St Mungo's and Homeless Link found that 70% of homeless people who are discharged from NHS hospitals are actually discharged onto the street. No attempt is being made to safeguard the recovering health of homeless patients. Homeless people die much younger than you and I and often carry serious illness related to dirty needle usage or alcoholism. These people need our compassion, love and support if they are to get better and get their lives on track. Research shows that family breakdown on abuse during their adolescence are key factors in their declining health.

As I have shown from other research, homelessness has risen 14% under this Tory government with more than 45,000 households being declared statutorily homeless per year. Given that the average household is 2.3 per home, we can be sure that the true figure of actual homeless people is much higher than 45,000. The figures also exclude those living in emergency accommodation,  the standard of which would actually worsen a patient's health.

What concerns me about this report is that coverage of it includes an immediate response from the government Minister (Paul Burstow). This is a cynical attempt to mitigate the fall out from the article and is a ploy that should concern all democrats. I have not included the government's response here because I think it appropriate that those interested get to read the report first.

The truth is that the government have oversaw the building of just 454 affordable homes for the last 6 months on record. They have commenced the building of just 100 Council Homes. And they are in the process of selling 591 Hectares of NHS land off to private developers. Homelessness is one statistic that this government are impervious to.

See the report (here).

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