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The integration of health and social care is one of the main current policy developments.
The Home Adaptations Consortium believes that it is crucial for housing, and specifically housing adaptations, to be included in this new integrated provision.
Better Care Fund Policy Framework
Disabled Facilities Grant national government funding is now part of local Better Care Funds (BCF) and so this Better Care Fund Policy Framework is a key document in setting out the use of DFG money in the context of health and care integration.
Survey of Local Authorities reveals fall in number of home adaptations
Since 2010, 5,500 (around12%) fewer elderly and disabled people are getting essential home adaptations funded through Disabled Facilities Grant.
This was the finding of a survey undertaken through a Freedom of Information request issued by the office of Labour’s Shadow Care Minister, Liz Kendall, based on responses from 79% of local authorities.
Whilst the national budget has been maintained, at a local level over 100 councils have cut the number of DFGs by 20% or more. This is at a time when the number of older and disabled people living in their own homes has risen in line with social care policies which focus on enabling independent living rather than moving into residential care.
- The survey undertaken through a Freedom of Information request issued by the office of Labour’s Shadow Care Minister, Liz Kendall, to all 326 local authorities who manage Disabled Facilities Grants in England, elicited 258 replies – a response rate of 79%. 246 of the councils who responded provided data for each year from 2010-11 to 2013-14.elicited responses from 79% of local authorities.
- The number of people who had a home adaptation carried out fell by 11.9 percent – from 36,168 in 2010-11 to 31,871 in 2013-14. Applying the same rate of fall in completions to the whole of England would mean 5,439 fewer people received a home adaptation last year compared to 2010-11.
- 149 councils said that they had delivered fewer adaptations in 2013-14 than in 2010-11. 96 councils delivered 20 percent fewer adaptations or worse. 15 councils delivered 50 percent fewer adaptations or worse
- In their responses, many councils referred to concerns about the implementation of the Better Care Fund and its impact on their ability to carry out home adaptations, while others expressed concern about the funding available for Disabled Facilities Grants.
Key Websites to follow this policy change
- Department of Health : Plans for integration
- Kings Fund : Integrated care information
Reviews of Disabled Facilities Grants Provision
The Welsh Assembly held an Inquiry into the provision of Home Adaptations in 2013. See here for the report and evidence.