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13th August 2020 Latest News Surgery Outcomes

THRF Supports Homelessness Respite Facility

Homeless accommodation

Accommodation and care for homeless people discharged from hospital.

The Hospital Research Foundation is proud to support a SA-first pilot project providing accommodation and care for homeless people who have been discharged from hospital while helping reduce readmissions for this vulnerable group.

Launched in January by Baptist Care SA in partnership with the Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN), the Homelessness Respite Facility pilot has to date helped 50 clients in a COVID interrupted trial, equalling 499 bed nights and 567 meals from the 10-room facility.

Former State Health Minister and current Baptist Care Health and Wellbeing Project Manager, Jack Snelling, said the project was initiated to help break the cycle of chronic illness for people sleeping rough.

“People experiencing homelessness find it difficult to access primary health care and are frequent presenters to hospital emergency departments,” Mr Snelling said.

“There is currently no similar facility providing alternatives to hospital care for people rough-sleeping. We aim to break the cycle by addressing the social factors that make chronic illness among this group difficult to manage and requiring frequent intervention.”

Patients are referred to the Centre from the Royal Adelaide Hospital, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital and other CALHN sites for an average of two weeks. Clinical care is coordinated by CALHN* while Baptist Care provides intensive case management to help connect clients to services, including accommodation, and address the social factors contributing to their ill-health.

“We are seeing a range of clients, both male and female, enjoy the safety and transitional health support of the facility,” Homelessness Respite Facility team leader, Rochelle Weston, said.

“Not only do our clients build strong relationships with staff, but many embrace the opportunity to articulate their needs and take steps towards their goals.

“We anticipate the Facility is also helping reduce hospital re-presentation rates and length of stays for subsequent admissions, and we are awaiting data to see if this is correct.”

In collaboration with other funders including the Adelaide Primary Health Network and CALHN, THRF has agreed to extend its support for a further six months to see the pilot through to the end of the year.

If the pilot is successful, Baptist Care SA hopes to build a permanent Homelessness Respite Facility to provide ongoing health and social care for people experiencing homelessness.

*Background

Following receipt of a generous bequest, Baptist Care SA has partnered with the Central Adelaide Local Health Network (CALHN) to establish the Homelessness Respite Facility. The pilot aims to improve access to healthcare and social support services to enhance health and wellbeing outcomes for people experiencing homelessness. THRF and the Wyatt Trust also contributed to the initial six-month pilot.

Patients are referred to the facility from the Royal Adelaide Hospital, The Queen Elizabeth Hospital and other CALHN sites for an average of two weeks. Multidisciplinary clinical care is coordinated by CALHN and provided by CALHN, non-government organisations and local general practices, while Baptist Care provides intensive case management to help connect clients to services, including accommodation, and address the social factors contributing to their ill-health.

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