31 Deaths In Supported and Emergency Accommodation. Are These Deaths Preventable
Today I raised the homeless deaths in Supported and Emergency Accommodation. The concerning information which was provided by the museum of homelessness affected me.
When I was living in Emergency Accommodation I was lucky enough to have support, but at times I felt isolated, stressed, anxious and even suicidal. The system does often worsen our health and wellbeing.
I asked the Health and Well-being Board, A Brighton and Hove City Council Committee the following Question:
31 Deaths in Supported and Emergency Accommodation last year.
How do we prevent this?
A Right To Life!
Cllr Sue Shanks who chairs the committee said
“Whilst the Health and Wellbeing Board are very concerned about this, in terms of death and early mortality.
We have been look at how we can improve the support that we offer to people in Supported Accommodation.
When we say supported accommodation;
How Much Support?
Is There Enough Support?
And probably not! we are looking at providing more support.
The mean age for homeless deaths is mid forties.
We’ve had quite a few drug deaths, suicide.”
From my perspective I just see those desperate people stuck in a rut, no options, many are so unwell, and they’re not properly assessed or treated, including drug rehabilitation and general support.
I hear from the front line staff in these accommodations life really is grim.
We are diverting and spending a lot of money into this area, with the number of units now surpassing 700.
More than doubled in a few years.
Digging into the data, contacting relatives, friends of the deceased should reveal a lot.
I mean I am really interested in the who, what, why where and why these people died.
Personally I feel we are looking at systematic neglect and a lack of those with lived experience driving change, supporting and informing on how things can change.
The homeless bill of rights is clear, people should have a right to live. Its Three Words:
Our NHS AND COMMUNITY CAN PROVIDE THAT!
Cllr Amanda Grimshaw Raises the Issue of Homeless Deaths
Cllr Amanda Grimshaw Said:
“I want to go further where your top three priorities for 2022/2023 say on the health inequalities and seldom heard voices, it’s too late for those that have died. Those voices will never be heard again and I really do think they justify and warrant a really good investigation from someone so trusted and admired as yourself and perhaps in that report we could find out what happened?
You also said you like to change services perhaps we could look into that report and find a way to improve it and make it better.”:
Geoffrey Bowden – Healthwatch Brighton and Hove Interim Chair Said:
“Yes i saw Daniel’s question about deaths and the request for some kind of report. We stand by to do it. What we need though is some funds though to be able to do that because we have got a finite budget and a growing list of areas that we really want to be looking into.
So I don’t know how this committee and the health and wellbeing board can influence the release of funds to do that? Maybe there is funds in the housing, social services?”
Chair Clare Moonan – Said:
“Maybe a conversation to be had outside the committee”
Potential Questions for a Homeless Death Report / Inquiry with Recommendations
Homeless deaths Brighton and Hove report vision really
Building a bigger picture, learning from the facts and the experiences of those close to those who have died to fully profile how these incidences occurred, were they preventable? If so what recommendations would prevent further similar cases from happening?
Questions / Areas To Consider:
Who these people were?
Where did they come from?
How did they become homeless?
If not born here, what was that journey?
If born here, family history?
Time line of time in the system
Tenancy Agreement Type?
Accommodation Type room etc/
Landlord of the accommodation they died?
Receiving Outside support? Whom by
Interviews with the following:
Other services, police, GP Coroner, NHS, ambulance
Residents, neighbours friends and family.
What where the pre existing medical issues? Any other issues?
What support was requested?
What did we know?
How did these people die?
Was their a coroner’s report / A post-mortem examination?
Were any of these people multiple complex needs?
How long did they live at their last accommodation?
How long in the system?
What were prior events? Anything significant like an eviction?
What was their behaviour like? Documented? What are the relatives, family views?
Was the cause of death preventable?
Any suicide notes left? Emails from the residents to the council?
Finances etc , could they cope?
List of diagnosis of each person, were they getting help being located some of then out of area?
Sexuality other declared / known info to ensure a full equality picture and profile.
Were there procedural issues with their housing case?
Any with declared disabilities?
Housing action plans created?
How long after they were placed in homeless accommodation?
What homelessness status did they have?
What was the communication like between bhcc and the resident?
How many have previously lived in supported accommodation and / or been hospitalised for mental health and/ or drug and alcohol related incidents?
Were any prison leavers?
Any formally looked after children?
Any on the sexual offenders register?
Average age? Youngest and Oldest when they died?