Making health savings through housing

Sally Nicholson is Riverside's Head of Health and CareBy: Sally Nicholson, Riverside’s Head of Health and Care

At Riverside, we bring together a range of health and care service models that blend housing and support for people with care needs.

Apart from providing a safe and socially active place to live, extra care housing services enable us to help people manage their long-term conditions reducing pressure on primary care providers by supporting people in their own homes.

Hospital to home services also support people home after a stay in hospital through re-ablement and guidance around wellbeing, assistive technology, and mobile response teams.

Additional care as part of housing services in Hull, and nationwide, prevent crisis admissions to hospital through support interventions, as well as tackling health inequalities by providing housing and care solutions to vulnerable and excluded groups.

Our specialist teams in Hull already provide a range of support, including for people with mental health needs. Kate*, 23, was referred to us by Hull’s community mental health team after spending time in hospital due to mismanaging her medication. She was also becoming socially isolated at the same time. Our support team ensured Kate engaged with mental health agency, Newbridges, and was helped to apply for a course at Hull City College. Weekly support sessions have helped Kate to remain motivated to complete her college course and to live independently in the future.

For people attending NHS facilities, helping to care for people in their community through hospital discharge programmes alleviate hospital pressures by reducing the average length of stay of inpatients.

A study by the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (2013) estimated that 63% of people living in extra care housing in its research area would otherwise need to live in residential or nursing care facilities. The cost of placement in extra care housing was found to be half that of an alternative placement or care package.

Extra care housing schemes have also been found to offer considerable value for money when compared to the costs that would have been incurred in alternative care packages. Return on investment was estimated to be as soon as 1.5 years for local authorities commissioning extra care services.

*Name has been changed.

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