Help if you are in hospital and homeless

If you are in hospital and you are concerned about your housing situation, you can discuss this with the hospital discharge team.

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Who to tell before you are discharged

Tell the hospital nursing staff as soon as possible, so that they know that there is a housing problem that could hold up you leaving hospital.  They will ask the hospital discharge team to help.

The discharge team may refer you to HomeChoice which is the council’s housing options service or another council if you have a home or local connection elsewhere, and that is where you would prefer to be.

HomeChoice will assess your situation and you may be offered intermediate accommodation while your home is made suitable for you or arrangements are made for you to move, or emergency accommodation if you are homeless and while your application is assessed.

Already have a home, but it is not suitable

If you have a home but it needs to be adapted, the hospital will refer you to the adult social care team who can arrange for an Occupational Therapy (OT) assessment.

The OT service is responsible for adaptations or a Disabled Facilities Grant. If you prefer, you can refer yourself to a social care occupational therapist by calling the Adult Care Desk 01454 868007.

If your home cannot be adapted for you, you can apply for social housing.  It is unlikely that this will be immediate, although you will be given advice about this when you apply.

Someone from HomeChoice can visit you in hospital, if necessary, to help you with your application and complete the assessment of your application.

Worried you may lose your house

If you have somewhere to live you will need to make sure that you are not at risk of losing your accommodation whilst you are in hospital, for example, by making sure you still pay your rent.  HomeChoice can help you to do this. You should contact them on 01454 868005.

Nowhere to live

If you have no address to go to after you are discharged, your housing situation should be considered while you are in hospital and not at the time you are ready to leave.  Any discharge plan should identify if you have nowhere to live and the discharge team should refer you to the homelessness service as soon as this is known.  HomeChoice tel: 01454 868005 or email: 

A member of the HomeChoice team can visit you, take your application and begin an assessment to decide if they have a duty to provide you with emergency accommodation when you leave.

HomeChoice will continue to work with you to look at other options even if you are homeless.

HomeChoice may not have to provide emergency accommodation when you leave hospital.  They will consider whether you are vulnerable and therefore in ‘priority need’ for accommodation if you are homeless.  This will be determined by your personal circumstances and if there are particular reasons why you vulnerable.

In doing this they will take into account things like:

  • what support you have access to
  • whether you are vulnerable as a result of disability
  • your physical and mental health medical conditions
  • any current and future treatment
  • any requirements to help manage the condition (e.g. medication, need
    for medical equipment, attending appointments, diet, rest, quiet, warmth)
  • whether you have been in hospital for any mental health problems, either voluntarily or by being detained
  • how you cope with daily living
  • whether you have a protected characteristic and how it affects you.

To read more about applying as homeless please download the Homelessness leaflet.

Further information

National Homelessness Advice Service is a guide for frontline advisers supporting single people making a homeless application where there may be an issue about priority need.

Shelter is a website offering advice, support and legal services for people struggling with bad housing or homelessness.

South Gloucestershire Council Adult Care 01454 868007.