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Local NHS teams up with York-based homeless charity to winter-proof A&E

Pressure on A&E departments this winter grows as admission numbers continue to increase.

Clinical evidence suggests that patients who are homeless often attend the emergency department when weather gets extreme; particularly in winter, as a place of shelter and not purely as a source of medical attention.

NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is working closely with its partners to help winter-proof a range of local healthcare services.

Dr Andrew Phillips, the CCG lead for the Urgent Care Programme, said:

“Using the winter pressures money allocated to the Vale of York, we are piloting a range of schemes to help better support patients in the most appropriate settings.

“We are working hard to address these challenges together and the local health and social care service providers have been working on winter plans and developing schemes to enhance and support local services to provide the best standard of care possible.”

The CCG has launched one of its winter-proofing schemes which supports the discharge of medically fit patients who are known to be homeless from A&E to Arc Light, a York-based charity that provides accommodation and support to homeless men and women.

The CCG and the York Arc Light are working together to help break the cycle of dependency on A&E. Patients who are known to be homeless can be provided with a support worker who will ensure that they are signposted to appropriate services upon discharge, including Arc Light.

Arc Light operate from a signature facility close to the city centre which has 35 bedrooms, meeting and counselling spaces as well as education, health, fitness and community facilities. This welcoming and inspirational space offers Arc Light’s clients not only a place to stay but also the chance to make positive changes in their lives and prepares them to move on through York’s re-settlement network and onto an independent life.

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