A recent analysis from The King’s Fund indicates a steep increase in hospital admissions related to homelessness in England.
In 2018-2019, 27,883 individuals who were admitted to a hospital in England had a primary or secondary diagnosis of homelessness. This figure was 24,500 in 2017-2018. A 130 per cent increase in hospital admissions related to homelessness has been reported since 2013-2014.
The analysis accompanies a new report from The King’s Fund which found that several rough sleepers fail to receive adequate health and care services until they are acutely unwell. The report showed that rough sleepers often have to deal with issues of personal safety, food, shelter and ill health. In 2018, the average life expectancy for the homeless in England and Wales was 45 years in males and 43 years in females. Treatable illnesses such as HIV and respiratory diseases account for around a third of the premature deaths in the homeless.
Julia Cream, Fellow at The King’s Fund, said: "Our research shows that the health and care of people who sleep rough can be improved when long-term funding is combined with local collaboration, listening to the needs of people who sleep rough and enabling staff to do the right thing."
During the 2019 general election campaign, the government issued a manifesto expressing their commitment to end rough sleeping by the end of 2024. The Prime Minister recently confirmed additional funding of £236 million for the cause.