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GPs unsure how to commission support services following reforms

8 July 2013

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GPs are unsure how to commission housing-based services to keep older people out of hospital, research has shown. 

A study by the National Housing Federation showed that eight out of ten GPs are unsure how to commission the services. 

The research also showed many GPs (70%) believe housing support services are crucial to patient health, with half believing they save the NHS money. 

Yet with the changes to the NHS structure, many spending decisions are now in the hands of clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said: “Health commissioners must work with housing associations to ensure local communities get the mix of integrated services required by our changing health and care needs. 

“The changes to the NHS mean local partnerships between the NHS and housing will be more important than ever.”

Research shows that supported housing services help older people live more independent lives. Services can include adaptations like handrails and ramps, hospital discharge projects or combined support and accommodation packages for adults with mental health problems. 

A toolkit has been released by the National Housing Association which outlines ways health professionals can engage with housing associations.