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Help if you are in hospital and homeless

If you are currently in hospital and

  • you have somewhere to live which isn’t suitable for you, or
  • you won’t have anywhere to live after you’re discharged

then you should tell someone about your situation.

Inform the hospital nursing staff as soon as possible, so that they know that there is a housing problem that could hold up you leaving hospital. They will ask the hospital discharge team to help.

The discharge team may refer you to us (HomeChoice) or another council if you have a home or local connection elsewhere, and that is where you would prefer to be.

We will assess your situation and you may be offered intermediate accommodation while your home is made suitable for you or arrangements are made for you to move, or emergency accommodation if you are homeless and while your application is assessed.

If you already have a home, but it isn’t suitable

If you have a home but it needs to be adapted, the hospital will refer you to the adult social care team who can arrange for an Occupational Therapy (OT) assessment.

The OT service is responsible for adaptations or a Disabled Facilities Grant. If you prefer, you can refer yourself.

If your home cannot be adapted for you, you can apply for social housing. It is unlikely that this will be immediate, although you will be given advice about this when you apply.

Someone can visit you in hospital, if necessary, to help you with your application and complete the assessment of your application.

If you are in hospital

If you have housing, you may have to take steps to make sure that this will not be put at risk because you are in hospital. We can help you to do this. You should contact us on 01454 865496.

If you have no address to go to after you are discharged, your housing situation should be considered while you are in hospital and not at the time you are ready to leave. Any discharge plan should identify if you have nowhere to live.

If you have nowhere to live

You should be referred to homelessness services as soon as this is known.

We can visit you, take your application and begin an assessment to decide if we have a duty to provide you with emergency accommodation when you leave.

We will continue to work with you to look at other options even if you are homeless.

We may not have to provide you with emergency accommodation for you to leave hospital. South Gloucestershire Council HomeChoice will consider whether you are vulnerable and therefore in “priority need” for accommodation if you are homeless. This will be determined by your personal circumstances and whether there are significant reasons that make you vulnerable.

In doing this we will take into account things like:

  • what support you have access to
  • whether you are vulnerable as a result of disability
  • your physical and mental health medical conditions
  • any current and future treatment
  • any requirements to help manage the condition (e.g. medication, need
    for medical equipment, attending appointments, diet, rest, quiet, warmth)
  • whether you have been in hospital for any mental health problems, either voluntarily or by being detained
  • how you cope with daily living
  • whether you have a protected characteristic and how it affects you

To read more about applying as homeless please download our leaflet.

Still need help?

You can also get information and advice from:

National Homelessness Advice Service


List of contacts

South Gloucestershire Council Homelessness Service 01454 865496

South Gloucestershire Council Adult Care 01454 868007

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