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Homeless charities warn of ‘national emergency’ as soaring numbers of rough sleepers are admitted to hospitals

Homeless charities have warned that England is facing a “national emergency”, after it was revealed that the number of homeless people and rough sleepers admitted to hospitals has more than trebled over the last six years.

Analysis of NHS data by Mirror Online reveals that 10,259 homeless people in England were admitted to hospitals in 2017-18, compared to 2,950 six years earlier.

The data also shows that the number of homeless people dying in hospitals has skyrocketed by a shocking 365%. There were 26 reported deaths in 2011-2012, rising to 95 in 2017-18.


Some of the medical reasons for being admitted to hospitals include pneumonia, respiratory disease, hepatitis C, and kidney failure.

According to the data, the number of homeless people given hospital beds for pneumonia rose 471% rose by 471%, increasing from 144 in 2011-12 to 679 in 2017-18.

There was a 330% increase in respiratory diseases, rising from 1,003 in 2011-12 to 3,317 in 2017-18, while admissions for hepatitis C rose 575% from 249 to 1,433.

Meanwhile, the number of homeless people admitted with kidney failure rose from 96 in 2011-12 to 553 in 2017-18. And 45 rough sleepers were taken to hospitals for palliative care.

Jon Sparkes, Chief Executive of the homelessness charity Crisis, told Mirror Online: “People’s health deteriorates because of the incredibly dangerous conditions.

“Those living on the streets [are] 17 times more likely to be a victim of violence and twice as likely to die from infections.

“The average age of death for a homeless person is 44.”


Polly Neate, from the charity Shelter, added: “We are looking at a national emergency.

“The Government must ensure housing benefit can cover rents, and ramp up efforts to build more social homes.”

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