NICE guide on integrated health and social care for people experiencing homelessness

21 March 2022

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the Centre for Homelessness Impact (CHI) have jointly published a guideline on ways to improve access to and engagement with health and social care services for people experiencing homelessness. It includes recommendations for commissioners and service providers working together across health, social care and housing services. The NHF fed into the guideline with comments on the value of support as well as care and the role of housing. The guideline promotes joint working and should help to integrate recognition of supported housing as a key part of the provision of services that improve health and wellbeing for people experiencing homelessness.

The guideline recognises that access to suitable accommodation is a key determinant of health and social care outcomes. It also recognises that the level of support in accommodation depends on the person's needs, with some people needing specialist onsite support.

The guideline recommends that local authorities should have a range of housing options for differing support needs, stating that “additional costs of providing wraparound support with accommodation, according to needs, are likely to be offset by improved health and social care engagement and outcomes, sustained tenancy, reduced use of expensive emergency services and a reduced return to homelessness and associated costs.”

We would like to draw your attention to the following sections of the resource which we feel will be particulary useful: 

  • Recommendations for commissioners (pages 14-16 and page 28).
  • Joint working (page 16 and pages 48-50).
  • Social care staff (page 36 and page 56).

You can read the recommendations in full on the dedicated NICE resource.