January 2016 marks the beginning of a new and innovative partnership between the housing team at London law firm Hodge Jones & Allen and the Pathway homeless healthcare service based at University College Hospital (UCH).
Pathway is a unique charity which helps the NHS improve care for homeless patients, from the moment they arrive in hospital through to the securing of suitable safe accommodation upon their discharge. The Pathway team at UCH benefits from a close relationship with social workers, housing officers, mental health teams and local charities but for some time has lacked specialised legal insight to advise them on the housing rights of patients once they leave hospital care.
Since 2014 Pathway has received pro bono legal advice from HJA by attending their weekly multi-disciplinary team meetings. Thanks to a three year grant from Trust for London however, this legal assistance has been formalised to ensure that Pathway can be advised by the HJA housing team in the most effective way. Solicitors at HJA will provide regular updates to Pathway on changes in the complicated area of housing law as well as offer specific advice for patients in need of particular legal insight or representation.
Alex Bax, Chief Executive of Pathway, said:
“I am delighted to launch this new partnership with HJA. This is the first time homeless patients have been offered legal advice during their care, helping them to recognise the options open to them as they recover. As the work builds up we will be monitoring what this does for individual patients, and work with HJA to see what general lessons we can learn about the way the law impacts on the lives of sick homeless people.”
Ed Veale, a housing solicitor at HJA, commented:
“It is a privilege for HJA to partner with Pathway in such a unique way. We have been very impressed with Pathway’s commitment to the long-term welfare of their patients after they have been discharged from hospital. With our housing team providing in-depth legal advice to the Pathway Team, we look forward to ensuring that the housing rights of some of the most vulnerable people in London are upheld. Pathway’s approach in providing holistic support to their patients is brilliant, and we are thrilled to be able to play a key role in their ongoing work.”
About Hodge Jones & Allen
Hodge Jones & Allen has represented ordinary people caught up in the most extraordinary events for almost four decades. To this day the firm remains committed to providing first-class legal help to individuals and organisations alike, based on a strong set of ethical values that permeate throughout the firm. Patrick Allen was the first managing partner and still leads the firm with passion and enthusiasm 38 years on.
Hodge Jones and Allen employs over 220 staff, based in Euston NW1. The firm’s team of specialists deal with Personal Injury, Medical Negligence, Industrial Disease, Civil Liberties, Criminal Defence, Court of Protection, Dispute Resolution, Employment, Family Law, Military Claims, Serious Fraud, Social Housing, Wills & Probate and Property Disputes.
- Recognised as a Tier 1 firm across a number of disciplines by Chambers UK
- Named as a leading firm by The Legal 500
- Listed as number 137 in the Lawyer UK 200
- Shortlisted for firm/not for profit agency by Legal Aid Lawyer of the Year Awards 2014
- Shortlisted for law firm of the year by Halsbury Legal Awards 2014
Pathway creates teams of medical and social care professionals within the NHS, helping to improve healthcare for people facing combinations of:
- Physical health problems
- Mental health problems
- Substance misuse issues
- Insecure immigration status
- Gypsy or traveller heritage
- Involvement in the sex industry
Pathway teams have been adopted in 11 facilities across England, supporting thousands of patients every year.
Press enquiries to:
HJA Press office
Anna Younger/ Tal Donahue/ Alex Spurgeon
020 7269 1430