Homeless people attending A&E at a Fife hospital are to be given specialist housing advice as part of a ground-breaking service delivered by Shelter Scotland and Fife Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP).

It is hoped the new service can improve the lives of patients with multiple and complex needs and save vital NHS resources by getting the right advice to people in hospitals who might otherwise not seek out help with housing problems.

Two specialist advisers will be based at the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy during the two-year trial which has its formal launch today.

Alison Watson, deputy director for Shelter Scotland, said: “People experiencing homelessness are more likely to suffer from ill-health and the lack of stable, suitable accommodation is a big factor in this. A good home is fundamental to our health and well-being.

“This project aims to demonstrate how improved links between healthcare and housing can deliver better health for patients and be more cost effective for the NHS by cutting the number of repeat visits.”

The project is backed by £173,000 of funding with the majority being supplied by housing and homelessness charity Shelter Scotland with contributions from Fife HSCP and Fife Council.

Homeless people are 3.8 times more likely to attend A&E and 2.2 times more likely to be admitted to hospital than people who are settled in a home of their own.


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