What was the issue you were addressing or working on?
It was recognised that to address the number of older people entering care homes would require an increase in the number of alternative housing solutions. While there was Housing with Care within the city, more was required. As a result of the recession we were unable to commission or tap into new housing provision and the current sheltered housing stock would require upgrading.
What you did?
Housing Associations were asked to notify their interest in the development of Housing with Care. Following site visits and assessment of the support services to be provided, Caledonia Housing and Bield Housing were identified as appropriate providers with accommodation which would serve local communities well. Agreement was reached as to the building improvements which would be required to make the buildings fit for purpose, and as was a list of tele-care equipment to be installed. Initial building improvements and tele-care equipment were included in the start up costs. A service level agreement was agreed and three years funding committed. Services were registered with the care Inspectorate. Both service providers undertook extensive staff training.
This model was built around a number of hours of care provision (200 Hours) provided to between 8 and 10 service users. This model allows the service to take into account more than one service user within a home or to manage the service more appropriately when supporting service users with high, complex needs. Overnight sleep over support is provided.
The complexes in which the care is provided are structured to ensure tenants can walk from their flat to the communal areas without stepping outside. Meals are optional and prepared on site. The housing association is both landlord and care provider.
Allocation of the provision is agreed in partnership with the Social Work Department following a needs assessment.
What were the outcomes - benefits or otherwise?
Developing the service has taken longer than initially considered. The registration of the service meant that one provider took almost six months longer to be able to accept service users. We relied on the freeing up of voids to develop the service, and there was a balance between holding tenancies for an extended time and the costs associated with this and having enough voids to make the service financially viable when first starting. Where we did not have enough voids in one site we were able to use the new staff to provide an outreach support to other service users living close by the site until the balance was reached.
New tenants are benefiting from the service while other current tenants with high levels of care and support have transferred to the new service and are benefiting from the additional support available.
Of the service users who have moved to the new service, care managers report that they believe that they would have moved into a care home had they not accessed the support.
Contacts - to find out more
Diane McCulloch, Social Work Department, email@example.com 01382 438302
Gill Donoghue, Housing Services Manager, Caledonia Housing, firstname.lastname@example.org
Andy Magee, Service Manager; email@example.com
Mike Andrews, Resource Manager; firstname.lastname@example.org