Housing with Care model could reduce delayed hospital discharges

Rhona McLeod

Rhona McLeod

A new report commissioned by Trust Housing Association has concluded that the social landlord’s Housing with Care model of integrated housing and care services for older people could offer an affordable solution to the growing issue of long-term delayed discharges in Scottish hospitals.

Trust recently commissioned Housing & Support Partnership and Imogen Blood & Associates to carry out an independent evaluation of outcomes in its Housing with Care services.

The Housing with Care: Innovative care solutions for living well at home report concludes that its services are highly valued by customers and offer value for money and cost savings for local authorities when compared to other long term care options, particularly residential care.

It considered seven of Trust’s Housing with Care developments across the south and west of Scotland and comprising more than 250 individual housing units. 71% of tenants covered by the study were aged 75 years or older and 43% were aged 85 years or above.

Over a three-year period, the study found that more than 50 tenant admissions to acute hospitals that would have been required had the tenant been living in mainstream housing were avoided as a result of living in a Housing with Care development.

Latest official statistics show that more than three quarters of all delayed discharges recorded in Scottish hospitals are for health and social care reasons – and that around 18% of these cases are delayed for more than six weeks. In 2013/14, delayed discharges were estimated to have cost NHS Scotland £114 million.

As part of the study, a cost benefit analysis of Housing with Care concluded that, for older people with less than £16,250 in capital and receiving up to approximately 27 hours of funded personal care per week, local authority commissioners would find Housing with Care to be more cost effective than residential care. For older people with capital between £16,250 and £26,250, Housing with Care would be the more cost effective option for those receiving up to around 23 hours of funded personal care per week. For those with capital above £26,250, Housing with Care was more cost effective than residential care for older people receiving up to 12 hours of funded personal care per week.

Trust Housing Association’s chief executive Rhona McLeod said: “This report is a real endorsement of the hard work and dedication of our Housing with Care teams across all of our Housing with Care developments. It shows that tenants really value the sense of freedom and personal independence Housing with Care gives them. The cost benefit analysis also presents Housing with Care as a more affordable solution than residential care for local authorities, particularly for older people on lower incomes in receipt of substantial levels of personal care on a weekly basis.

“Whether offered by Trust Housing Association or another registered social landlord, this report also highlights the important role the Housing with Care model can play in helping to tackle the issue of delayed discharges from Scottish hospitals, three quarters of which apparently occur for health and social care reasons. Both by reducing the overall number of tenant admissions to acute hospitals and supporting timely and effective discharge from hospital, Housing with Care is a model that could effectively address the issue of delayed discharges and deliver significant savings for NHS Scotland as a consequence.”