Guidance for health staff on homelessness duty to refer
The Department of Health & Social Care has published guidance for NHS staff on their duty under the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 to refer a person who is homeless to a local authority.
On 1 October 2018, the Homelessness Reduction Act 2017 introduced a new legal duty on specified public services to refer service users they consider may be homeless or threatened with homelessness to a local housing authority.
For health services the impact will be on NHS trusts and foundation trusts in the provision of any of the following NHS health services:
- accident and emergency services in a hospital
- urgent treatment centres
- in-patient treatment (of any kind)
The basic legal requirement for a referral is the inclusion of:
- the individual’s contact details
- the individual’s consent
- the agreed reason for the referral (that they are homeless or threatened with homelessness)