More than eight out of ten GPs are unsure how to commission essential support services that can keep older and vulnerable people out of hospital, new research has shown.
But the National Housing Federation survey also shows that seven out of ten GPs believe housing support services are crucial to patient health, while more than half say they save the NHS money.
New NHS structures have changed the way these services are commissioned, with important spending decisions now in the hands of Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) – run by GPs. But even GPs who are or plan to be involved in their local CCG say they don’t know how they would design housing-based services in the emerging structures, with more half (52%) unsure how they would commission these services.
Supported housing services help older and vulnerable residents live healthier, more independent lives. Services can include simple adaptations like handrails and ramps, hospital discharge projects, or combined support and accommodation packages for people with mental health problems, adults with learning disabilities or people living with dementia.