Continuing our interview series in the run up to our Improving Health and Social Care Through Housing we're delighted to hear from Jeremy Porteus! Ahead of his appearance at our event on 24th January, we asked Jeremy, as Founder and Director of the Housing Learning Improvement Network (LIN) a few questions on how he views health and housing sector collaboration …
How do you view the role of housing in the provision of health and social care?
At an operational level, housing has a crucial role to play in the way care and support services are planned, commissioned and operated to enable people to live independently. Whether carrying out adaptations or improvements to existing stock that maintain the health and wellbeing or residents or developing specialist housing such as extra care or supported housing, there is now evidence of the substantial health and social care ‘dividend’. For an overview, check out our online Health Intel pages.
What are the keys to building integrated health and housing services?
At a strategic level, I have recently written a blog advocating a more networked approach to better integrate housing within health and social care economies. This can be found at: https://www.housinglin.org.uk/blogs/Beyond-the-Green-Paper-Destination-Networked-Care-Taking-the-L-plates-off/.
As a representative of the health sector, what are your experiences of working with the housing sector?
As someone who was the housing ‘change agent’ in the Care Services Improvement Partnership at the Department of Health, I have experienced at first hand the preventative contribution housing has made to address the system and capacity issues faced by the NHS and hard pressed social services departments, as evidenced in our recent report, Health and Housing: Building the evidence base.
How do you manage competing health and housing priorities?
The Housing LIN is a signatory of the pioneering health and housing Memorandum of Understanding and Action Plan. This supports a multi sector-led approach to encourage integration between housing, health and social services to deliver more person-centred outcomes.
What is the greatest success and the greatest challenge of the health sector within this context?
Outside the call for greater investment in our care economy, we face an ageing population with a diverse range of lifestyle choices and increasing demands on our community services. And with medical and technological advances, we need to become smarter in the way we deliver these, how we both help support people to self care and/or co-produce solutions that meet their aspirations as well as access specialist care and support when most in need.