Council helps older and disabled people
By Trucks79 | Saturday, July 14, 2012, 08:52
Most older and disabled people want to live in their own home for as long as possible – but sometimes they need a bit of extra support to be able to do so.
South Gloucestershire Council has agreed a new contract with West of England Care & Repair to deliver services that do just that. The agency will provide information and advice on housing related issues, ensure that homes are suitable for people leaving hospital and support those requiring major adaptations to their homes.
A new centre has also been opened in Waterloo Street, Bristol where people can test out equipment to aid their mobility such as level access showers, kitchen equipment and seat raisers. A 'smart house' in Yate, offering similar facilities, will be provided later in the year in conjunction with Merlin Housing Society.
The contract was developed following a huge response to our consultation from service users and stakeholder organisations. Over 3,000 survey responses from older people, those with disabilities and carers told us it was important to have reliable, sympathetic and trustworthy staff to deal with, that services need to be of a high standard and that any charges should be reasonable.
For the first time, the council will deliver this service in partnership with neighbouring local authorities -- Bristol City Council, Bath & North East Somerset Council and North Somerset Council -- and with additional funding from NHS South Gloucestershire.
Chair of South Gloucestershire Council's Adults and Housing Committee Matthew Riddle said: "This contract is great news for old and disabled householders in South Gloucestershire who need extra support to live at home.
"The joint working approach is also very welcome, delivering better value for money while helping the councils involved respond to our ageing society.
"This week's social care White Paper identifies such services as vital to meeting growing needs and so it is encouraging that such a forward thinking service development is in hand."
The councils were unanimous in agreeing that the WE Care & Repair tender was the strongest bid for the contract. The organisation showed a good understanding of each Council's requirements and, most importantly, what the people using the service want from it. Their proposals ensure that there will be a smooth transition to the new contract with existing knowledge and experience retained. WE Care & Repair also have a proven track record of helping clients find funding to help them pay for necessary building works.
The services will help people identify their options by addressing problems such as disrepair, home health, accident hazards, fuel poverty and debt or by finding alternative suitable accommodation. The core customer groups are all older and disabled households, and mostly owner-occupiers. Information and advice and support for those leaving hospital will be provided for free. The agency will also advise on any grants, charities and low cost loans.