Housing advice for people who will be homeless after leaving hospital

What to do while in hospital

You should tell the hospital nursing staff as soon as possible, so that they know that you will be homeless when you are discharged. They will ask the hospital discharge team to help if they can. Normally patients are only discharged when the hospital is sure that they have some accommodation and they are discharged with a plan in place.

Some patients will be able to receive help through the hospital social work team, particularly if they have accommodation but feel that their health problems will make it difficult for them to live there.

Ealing Council employs a hospital discharge worker, who can try to put housing options in place to stop this from happening. They work very closely with Ealing Hospital’s discharge team and can also work with Ealing-based patients who are in other hospitals.

The hospital discharge worker will help to put you in touch with the right services and will make referrals.

You may be referred you to the housing solutions team at the council, ahead of your discharge from hospital. If you are unable to travel, a visiting officer may come to you at the hospital.

The officer will assess your situation and try to prevent you becoming homeless. If this is not possible, you may be offered temporary accommodation while your application is assessed, if you fall into a priority need category.

If you have a home already but it needs to be adapted, the hospital will refer you to the council’s adult social care team, to assess whether adaptations might help or whether a disabled facilities grant might be a source of help.

Help available from the housing solutions team

If you apply to Ealing Council housing solutions or for housing assistance because you are homeless in these circumstances, we may not necessarily be legally obliged to provide you with any accommodation.

However, we will have a duty to assess the circumstances of your homelessness, identify what your housing and support needs are, and to work with you to try to prevent your homelessness or support you to find you somewhere to live.

We will provide you with a personal housing plan which will tell you what we can do to help you and what you can do to help yourself. This might include actions like attending appointments with organisations that can provide you with a housing solution.

For Ealing Council to be legally obliged to provide you with accommodation, we would need to be satisfied that you are eligible, homeless, in priority need and have not made yourself intentionally homeless.