The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has published the final scope for an upcoming guideline on best practice for Integrated health and social care for people experiencing homelessness, developed in partnership with the Centre for Homelessness Impact (CHI) and Public Health England (PHE).
The finalised scope comes after a thorough consultation period in which registered stakeholders from homelessness, health, social care and related sectors were invited to offer comment on the draft scope.
The purpose of the guideline, due to be published in 2022, will be to help those working in homelessness and related sectors by creating national guidance on providing joined-up health and social care services for people experiencing homelessness in order to better meet their needs. The guideline will also be used to develop a NICE quality standard.
The guideline will factor in a range of considerations including physical and mental health, substance use and other social care needs in addition to housing needs. It will be relevant to services for all experiences of homelessness, including those sofa-surfing, those in temporary accommodation and people who are street homeless.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the issues facing people experiencing homelessness into sharp focus. Whilst a range of approaches have been developed to address the needs of people experiencing homelessness and to improve their outcomes, there is currently no national guidance on providing joined-up health and social care. This guideline will begin to bridge that gap.
Dr Ligia Teixeira, CEO of the Centre for Homelessness Impact said: “We are delighted to be supporting this work, as it is crucial that people experiencing homelessness have access to quality, well designed, integrated health and social care services. By applying the best available evidence on what works when delivering services, we can start to make improvements that are of true benefit to the people receiving them”
With the final scope published, NICE and CHI will begin the process of developing the guidelines. The team will review the existing evidence body relevant to the guideline. The evidence will be considered by a committee made-up of practitioners, professionals, care providers, commissioners, and those affected by homelessness.
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