Public Health England (PHE) and the Housing Learning & Improvement Network (Housing LIN) have published three practical resources aimed at improving services around housing and end of life care, the built environment's role in promoting active ageing, on older people's alcohol misuse, and on health inequalities.
The free documents are intended to build on a major undertaking by PHE, NHS England and its partners to improve integration and partnership working between health, social care and housing.
Housing LIN director Jeremy Porteus says:
"These documents answer that call for practice-based roadmaps to help housing and related services work with their colleagues in public health. They can help providers, policymakers and commissioners ensure that older and vulnerable people in their communities receive the housing-related support that will enable them to live independently and maximise their health and wellbeing."
Research shows that older people with easy access to the outdoors and community facilities are more likely to be physically active and enjoy the health and social benefits that brings. Good built environments also reduce the risk of falls and can reduce health inequalities.
Ensuring that people nearing the end of life are cared for at home if that is their choice is the focus of this briefing. Research shows that most people prefer to die at home. Despite improvement over the last decade, nearly half (47%) of deaths in England occur in hospital. Older people and those on lower incomes and from ethnic minorities are less likely to die in their usual place of residence. It should help those working in specialist or mainstream housing and public health to work with local health organisations to support people to die in their usual place of residence.
This briefing examines the relationship between older people and alcohol misuse. It intends to build an understanding of respective roles and opportunities to work together to integrate services so that older people misusing alcohol can access the support and treatment they need to remain in their home, if appropriate, or to move into other accommodation, where this is agreed to be more beneficial.
In addition, the Housing LIN published:
Closing the health gap - a gap worth closing: How housing can play its part in reducing health inequalities (opens new window)
This briefing equips housing, care and support practitioners, and public health teams, with ideas about practical actions they can take to reduce health inequalities. It draws attention to key measures to remove or reduce the impact of factors that make people ill, such as cold homes and fuel poverty, as well as approaches to increasing the potential for individuals and communities to improve their own health, by taking control of their lives and building confidence and resilience.