Home Adaptations: New report reveals local innovation and good practice
Adapting for Ageing: Good practice and innovation in home adaptations, published by the Centre for Ageing Better, highlights local innovation and good practice in delivery of home adaptations for older people by pioneers across England.
The report, researched and written by Care & Repair England, describes a range of innovative approaches to enable councils, commissioners, home improvement agencies and social housing providers to learn from the good practice it has uncovered. This ranges from proactively raising awareness of adaptations and fast track initiatives to linking adaptation installation with vital home repairs and handyperson help.
It describes what a ‘good’ service looks like from the perspective of older people, providing a breakdown of key factors against which local areas can review their own services.
By delivering home adaptations in the best ways possible councils can enable older people to keep living safely and well in their own homes for longer, reducing pressure on health and care services, as well as improving older people’s lives.
Integration in action – innovation in home adaptations delivery
Following an open call for submissions of local good practice in Summer 15, Care & Repair England has produced a series of Notebook style ‘cameo’ descriptions of local delivery. This initiative was backed by Public Health England and endorsed by the Home Adaptations Consortium .
An initial six examples were published in June 2015:
- West of England Care & Repair
- Walsall Independent Living Centre
- Sunderland Care & Support
- Suffolk Orbit Care & Repair
- Middlesbrough Staying Put
- Knowsley Centre for Independent Living
New models were added in September 2015
Promotion of wellbeing and independence, alongside prevention, are critical to the vision of the Care Act. Adapting people’s homes plays a pivotal role in meeting these obligations.
There are pioneers around England who are ahead of the curve on finding new and better ways to offer home adaptations advice, practical help and financial assistance, including innovations in use of Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG).
Other good practice examples
Foundations are continuing the example set by Care and Repair England and are showcasing good practice in DFG practice from around England. Each example has its own particular theme that exemplifies an excellent way of delivering the mandatory grant within the context of the wider needs of older and disabled people. With the increased funding for DFGs over the next 4 years there is an opportunity for local authorities to use their discretionary powers within the Regulatory Reform Act to deliver home adaptations and support to vulnerable people in a different way additional to the mandatory grant. We will be adding further examples of how this is done as the year progresses.
Care & Repair England has also published a number of briefings which explains the changes, clarifies responsibilities and highlights opportunities for integration now that the DFG funding is paid to local councils through the Better Care Fund. These are available under our Integration Briefings/
For other good practice see:
Northern Ireland Interdepartmental Review of Housing Adaptations Services: Evidence Based Report (2013)
This is a very detailed, comprehensive review of the provision of housing adaptations in Northern Ireland with evidence, analysis and data of potential use in other countries.
THCS (2013) The Accessible Homes Toolkit published by the Housing Consultancy Partnership