When Ben’s hospital team tried to discharge him into safe accommodation for life-saving dialysis treatment, the local authority denied the request, saying he had no connection to the area. The Pathway Legal Advice Project helped Ben to gather proof of residence, and had him in supported housing and on treatment within 24 hours.

More than 7 years ago, Ben managed to extricate himself from a lifestyle dominated by drugs, in Wigan. Ever since then, he has been intermittently street homeless and sofa surfing in Manchester, where he also recently had to seek emergency hospital treatment for kidney failure. Finding accommodation was a priority for Ben’s medical team, as he was ready to be discharged from the hospital, and due to start life-saving dialysis imminently.

But, because Ben had no permanent address in Manchester, the cash-strapped local authority insisted that he had no connection to the area, and so did not qualify for supported accommodation locally. They instructed the hospital to refer Ben back to the Wigan local authority, where he has no recent social or medical links whatsoever, causing his clinical team serious concerns that isolation would drive him back to drugs if forced to return.

Fortunately, the hospital in Manchester was able to procure Ben emergency legal advice through the Pathway Legal Advice Project, funded by St Martin’s Charity. Thanks to the project, Ben’s case was taken on by legal experts who prepared an urgent pre-action letter to the Manchester local authority. They gathered evidence from a range of local agencies who have supported Ben to provide proof of residence. The pre-action letter was successful and Ben was given accommodation within 24 hours. Ben is now settled in supported accommodation in Manchester, close to his network, and is receiving the treatment he needs in order to get his health back on track. 

* Names have been changed to protect privacy. 

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