Established 2005 Registered Charity No. 1110656

Scottish Charity Register No. SC043760

current issue



Hospital discharge - a response

May 21 2009
After 10 weeks in hospital, a reader is dumped at his local HPU Dear Editor,

Re: Hospital discharges (Letters, The Pavement, 28, 29)

Following a serious head injury (I was hospitalised for a total of 10 weeks), I was allocated a hospital social worker for the final three weeks of my stay. This woman's main concern was to find me somewhere to stay on my discharge. I was known to be entirely homeless, as the squat I'd been staying in had been sealed off and locked up as a crime scene. However, on the day I was discharged, I was given £20 (my benefit claim had lapsed due to my hospitalisation) and taken by ambulance - my mobility was severely impaired at this time - to the local Homeless Persons Unit [HPU], where I had been assured by said social work department that they would "sort something out."

Had it not been for the intervention of the CID officers dealing with my assault, the HPU, by their own admission, would not have housed me. Due to the officers dealing with my assault, I was allocated emergency housing, which was withdrawn after approximately eight weeks. It had become apparent during my scant dealings with the hospital social work department that there was little or no policy, and they didn't quite know what to do with me.

That said, my medical care was nothing short of outstanding.

Grant Kingsnorth

Dear Grant,

Thank you for your letter, and it confirms our fear that cases of discharge back onto the street are not isolated cases, so we'll keep raising this issue. Unfortunately, following Lisa's letter (Letters, The Pavement, 28), about the death of her daughter who was discharged from hospital onto the street, we're still awaiting comment from those who produced the guidelines. The guidelines produced by the Department of Health and Homeless Link are still available.