Unblocking care pathways - One Housing Group

Michelle Crouch, Head of Mental Health at One Housing Group explains how the Tile House project in London’s King’s Cross integrates healthcare and housing to support people with complex needs.

The need for interaction between housing and health is a well-established truth. But the separation of supported housing and health services, particularly in the field of mental health, has stubbornly persisted, clogging up care pathways and blocking routes to effective recovery. 

One Housing Group’s Care Support Plus model was developed to integrate housing with health, care and support. Our aim has been to create mutually effective partnerships with NHS foundation trusts, working closely with them to develop supported housing with a recovery-focussed support ethos. 

We forged an alliance with the Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust and the London Borough of Camden to deliver Tile House in the King’s Cross redevelopment. Both clinical and support staff provide a service to 15 people with complex mental health needs, who may otherwise be in hospital wards or expensive out of borough placements. 

The model is working. NHS staff such as a care coordinators, occupational therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists work alongside on-site support staff. A shared approach to risk-taking, governance, protocols and policies means we can manage incidents quickly and carry out medication reviews and Care Programme Approaches on site. 

This is really meaningful for our customers - 60% of them have reduced their medication intake and 33% are self-medicating. They are managing their own money, they have their own front door, their Activities of Daily Living scores are greatly improved …I could go on. 

The model is also delivering on its objective to redesign the care pathway. It provides for people who were previously excluded, offering them a home as a real alternative to a hospital ward. And by following this model we could be saving over £1bn per annum.