Charities Crisis and Pathway to merge to better tackle homelessness and health inequalities
The national charity for the homeless Crisis and Path, the homeless health charity, will merge in an effort to tackle the serious health inequalities experienced by homeless people and ensure that the health system plays its role in ending roaming across the UK.
The merger, which will see charities maintain their own existing operations and identities, will build on the existing collaboration between the two organizations and make them a stronger and more united voice in their mission to meet health and support needs. homeless people.
The two charities are meeting at a time when the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted how critical it is for homelessness to be seen as a public health issue. Meanwhile, opportunities to resolve and prevent homelessness through the health system are routinely missed. The most recent figures for 19/20 show that 2,950 people have been released from a general or psychiatric hospital with no home to go to.
Pathway and Crisis will work together to ensure that the health service, through all of its contact with homeless people, achieves its potential in actively resolving homelessness. The two charities will continue to advocate for policy responses to homelessness that save lives, reduce health inequalities and promote positive health outcomes for homeless people.
The merger, which has been approved by both boards of directors, aims to:
- Increase the number of dedicated hospital teams working with homeless patients across the country, to ensure they receive better quality care and do not leave hospital to become homeless.
- Work with the NHS and wider health and social care services to help prevent homelessness through evidence-based programs such as Housing First and time-critical interventions that will ensure people are safe. the support they need to quit homelessness for good.
- Campaign for the changes needed to save lives and demonstrate the positive health outcomes of immediate access to good quality emergency accommodation
- Filling knowledge gaps in research on inclusion, health and homelessness, including how to improve services, reduce health inequalities, assess the impact of government policies and what solutions are needed to end roaming.
The services provided by the two charities will remain unchanged for the time being. In the longer term, the two charities will seek to enrich their services by combining their expertise – for example, with the Pathway teams being in place where the Crisis Skylight centers are based.
Jon Sparkes, Managing Director of Crise, said: “Having worked together successfully for many years, this merger is an exciting opportunity for the two charities to combine our expertise, resources and voices at a time when homeless people need more help than ever before. we.
“The pandemic has further exposed how dangerous it can be to our health when we don’t have a safe place to call home, but far too often people leave hospitals with nowhere to go. We are determined to see this change and we will work together to ensure that the NHS and the health and social care system as a whole play their part in helping to achieve our common goal of ending homelessness for good. “
Alex Bax, CEO of Pathway, added: “Pathway was founded on the belief that the NHS has a huge role to play in preventing and ending homelessness. By partnering with Crisis, we can do even more to support frontline NHS colleagues, build the skills and knowledge of NHS staff and show how collaboration between health, housing and care services is best. response to homelessness. Leading organizations in the homelessness and healthcare industry are supporting our merger, confident that it will bring real change to those facing homelessness today and in the future.
Richard Murray, Managing Director of the King’s Fund, said: “I am delighted to welcome this new relationship between Pathway and Crisis. Pathway has played such an important role in helping the NHS improve services for the homeless and putting their skills and experience with Crisis provides real opportunities to cement and expand their impact. It should be a win-win for both organizations and the people they serve.
Lord Victor Adebowale, President, NHS Confederation, commented: “This is great news. Over the past decade, Pathway has built its credibility within the NHS, putting the care and treatment of homeless patients in the spotlight and drawing attention to the most extreme health inequalities we face.
“At the same time, Crisis has built an evidence base to show how ending homelessness in the UK is achievable. I can now see tremendous value in the two charities working together, helping the NHS improve practical services for homeless patients, while campaigning for broader structural change in society and the system. “
Professor Andrew Goddard, President of the Royal College of Physicians, said: “The RCP welcomes the new partnership as Pathway has played a key role in putting homeless health firmly on the NHS agenda. Crisis is to be commended for providing the stability that will ensure this work continues.
“The impact of the pandemic on charities has been significant, but it’s partnerships like this that demonstrate our resilience. There are many things we can and should work on together, while recognizing the independence of each. We have no doubt that this new relationship will bear important fruits. “