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Health and housing: building the evidence base

A Paper for Kent Surrey Sussex Academic Health Science Network by the Housing Learning and Improvement Network

This paper provides a review of the evidence base in relation to projects and pilot initiatives across the UK which bring together health and housing, with a particular focus on older people. Evidence has been included about projects which contribute to:

- Improving health outcomes
- Reducing demand/expenditure
- Improving patient/resident experience

At a time of considerable pressure on budgets and resultant system transformation and service reform across health and social care economies, the review will be used to inform Kent Surrey Sussex Academic Health Science Network’s (KSS AHSN) planning for future service development and potential investment, particularly around hospital admissions and delayed discharge of care. This is part of the Network’s strategic priority to promote ‘Living Well For Longer’ (LWFL).

The review involved a search of key websites and databases, including: the Housing Learning and Improvement Network (LIN), King’s Fund, National Housing Federation, Age UK, Centre for Ageing Better, Institute of Public Care (IPC), Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), Personal Social Services Research Unit (PSSRU), NHS Improvement and NICE, as well as telephone interviews with key stakeholders to provide a detailed understanding of effective health and housing initiatives.

The review provides a strategic overview of the policy context, followed by sections covering:

  • Housing with care
  • Housing advice and information
  • Aids and adaptations
  • Handyperson schemes
  • Falls prevention
  • Assistive technology and telecare
  • Discharge services
  • Design of the built environment
  • Warm housing and fuel poverty
  • Dementia related initiatives
  • Other projects

Each section contains a brief introduction, a review of relevant research, and examples of current projects and initiatives. The conclusion summarises the evidence in terms of the three areas specified above, as well as setting out points for consideration.