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Where Health meets Housing

Writing my business plan this year gave me a chance to reflect on how far we have come. In my four years with Interim Partners, both the business and the interim market have changed considerably.

partnership

Over the last few years, we have helped some of the most challenged health economies, social housing bodies and education establishments move forward in their journey to becoming great businesses.

We have positioned ourselves in key sectors where we connect leaders and deliver exceptional interim executives to materially influence organisational performance.
The relationship between healthcare and housing has always been a topic of interest in conversations with our interim community and our clients.

The diversification of our business brings together great leaders from these two sectors. In my view, there is an untapped potential for housing and healthcare providers to come together and deliver solutions to help ease the pressures of the NHS crisis. But how can we encourage this? I continue to meet great people who deliver outstanding change and transformation programmes in each sector, but I ask myself - where is the partnership working? Could more be done together?

The NHS is suffering; the squeeze on funding and the increasing demand on services is putting huge pressure on our hospitals. If social landlords and NHS organisations worked closer together, I am confident we would see a number of benefits: reduced hospital admissions, shorter hospital length of stay, mental health on an equal footing to physical health.

Could housing associations help? Will the NHS let them? Housing organisations are known for providing accommodation, however in many cases it’s more than that; support for those with mental health needs or history of substance misuse, support of the elderly’s independence – these are just some of the benefits. Check out this infographic by the National Housing Federation illustrating the connections between health and housing – it’s fantastic.

Good housing and preventive services can make a fundamental difference to health and wellbeing. -The King's Fund

I can see a frustration on both sides. There is a lack of understanding of each sector’s business models, conflicting priorities, different political landscapes and, of course, cost.

I don’t think we have an answer, yet. There is no silver bullet and no standard way to make a case for partnership. However, there are small steps both sectors can take.

I would love to hear from you. What steps has your sector taken? Are you involved in a successful partnership? How can we enable housing providers and healthcare organisations to work together?

Claire Carter is Director of the Public Sector.

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