Housing organisations have long argued the importance of good housing to better health and wellbeing. Yet there is still a long way to go in seeing housing as an essential part of health and care planning. Resources have been developed recently that aim to put housing rightly on the health and care agenda.
The Kings Fund with the National Housing Federation has developed a Learning network on integrating housing care and health
The NHS Alliance has produced its housing for health resource for GPs
The Memorandum of Understanding produced by NHS England, Public Health England and a range of social care, health, housing and local government organisations in Dec 2014 shows that the right home environment can:
• Delay and reduce the need for primary care and social care interventions, including admission to residential or nursing homes
• Prevent hospital admission
• Enable timely discharge from hospital and prevent re-admissions
• Enable rapid recovery from ill-health or planned admissions.
More recently we have also seen an initiative from NHS England and Public Health England to fund a number of projects to ‘design and develop new town partnerships that put innovative health and social care practice at the very heart of urban planning to create healthier places to live from the outset’.
Let’s hope that through these resources and initiatives housing is not only identified but is also solidified as a key ingredient to good health and care.