Project information

Pathway - helping homeless people in hospital

We founded Pathway after a homeless man died outside a London hospital. We believe nobody leaving hospital should sleep rough. We help homeless patients find accommodation, sort out finances and reconnect with loved ones, so they can recover, escape homelessness and get life onto a better Pathway.

January 2017 - October 2018

Charity information: Pathway

Pathway logo
  • Need


    Around 80% of people who have lost their home have a health problem. Many are discharged from hospital with nowhere to go. On the street stitches become infected, dressings cannot be changed, rest and recovery are impossible.

    Pathway stops the cycle of illness and hospital admission. With rising homelessness our hospital teams are seeing more patients than ever before, we need to increase the support we offer and train more doctors to help homeless people.


    Pathway teams recognise that medicine isn't the only treatment homeless patients need. Everyone has an important role, NHS doctors and nurses, housing and benefits professionals, social workers, mental health practitioners and Care Navigators: people who were once homeless who we train to support and mentor homeless patients.

    Our work reduces future homelessness and improves patients’ lives. The Royal College of Physicians recently published a study evidencing the effectiveness of our approach.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Help the NHS to support homeless patients more effectively in hospital


    » Educate 100 medical students and professionals about homelessness.
    » Fund 2 qualifications for Care Navigators to help homeless patients feel less alone in hospital.

    What success will look like

    At least 4 training events provided over the year. 2 Care Navigators successfully passing a qualification.

    Aim 2

    Ensure homeless patients are supported beyond hospital.


    » Provide emergency support e.g. when accommodation is delayed, patients don’t have clothes to leave hospital or bedding for their new home.
    » Produce a directory for teams showing local community services that can help patients.

    What success will look like

    80 patients provided with emergency support
    1 directory produced
    50 directories distributed (1 for each team member and a central office copy for each team)

  • Impact


    Pathway asks patients for feedback about the help they receive. Success will be 80% of all feedback forms received showing a positive patient experience.

    Our work aims to increase the number of professionals who can support homeless patients. Success will be a 10% rise in membership of the Faculty for Homeless and Inclusion Health, an additional 75 people over the next year, demonstrating the impact of our education work. An additional 2 fully trained Care Navigators will enter the service.


    There is a risk that hospital systems and data security will make it hard to collect patient feedback and outcomes. For this reason the project is running alongside a (separately funded) strand of work, helping all hospital homeless teams begin to integrate IT systems and agree monitoring outcomes, so that national statistics about the work of homeless health teams can be produced and readmission rates can be documented.


    Regular updates will be posted to Pathway’s social media feeds on Twitter and Facebook. Donors can choose to receive a quarterly newsletter with updates about the project. Donors working in health and social care are also eligible for membership of the Faculty for clinical updates and research.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £8,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £4,000 Care Navigator Training NVQ course and other training costs for two apprentices
      £2,000 Patient Dignity Fund Dignity fund to provide clothes and other essentials to homeless patients
      £1,000 Directory of Services Compilation and production of local services manual
      £1,000 CPD and Training Development and delivery of educational packages
  • Background


    Pathway has teams in 11 hospitals across England, in cities where levels of homelessness are high. Our team of Care Navigators train initially with at UCLH and are then deployed to other hospitals.

    The organisation has been operating for 7 years and helps over 3000 homeless patients annually. The Faculty for Homeless and Inclusion Health has over 750 members covering England, Scotland & Wales. CPD days are offered in 6 regional hubs, facilitating access for all members.


    Homeless patients in hospitals with a Pathway team will be the primary beneficiaries of this work. Patients being supported by professionals who have attended Pathway training and CPD days will benefit from improved care. The work will also benefit formerly homeless people training as Care Navigators, offering them qualifications which open wider employment opportunities.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Pathway is the UK’s largest homeless health charity. We are a national leader, producing the UK Standards for Inclusion Health, endorsed by the Royal College of General Practitioners, and running the International Symposium on Homeless and Inclusion Health.

    Our work is supported by leading homelessness charities including The Big Issue Foundation, Crisis and Homeless Link, and informed by the Faculty for Homeless and Inclusion Health, a network of professionals and formerly homeless people.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Trudy Boyce MBE

    A homeless healthcare sister, provides hands-on training & support to Care Navigators and coordinates their work with patients.

    Josie Mavromatis And Gavin Blethyn

    Care Navigators who support patients and who will collect patient feedback to prove our success.

    Dr Nigel Hewett FRCGP OBE

    The Medical Director of Pathway, who leads the Faculty of Homeless & Inclusion Health and coordinates Pathway’s educational work.


Give a homeless hospital patient slippers and a dressing gown.