A consultation to introduce service standards on housing adaptations to support disabled and older people to live more independently for as long as possible in their own home has been launched.
At present the system for delivering housing adaptations in Wales is complex, which reflects the range of different funding sources and organisations involved in care and support arrangements.
The consultation sets out a range of standards that service providers of housing adaptations should work towards to make their delivery more consistent and fair throughout Wales. This includes setting expectations on communication and the quality of the service provided. The standards also include expected timeframes and provide clarity on what eligibility checks are required for each level of home adaptation.
The consultation also aims to set clear definitions of Small, Medium and Large Housing Adaptation. For example small adaptations may require minor modifications and minimal maintenance, such as hand rails or additional plug sockets. Large adaptations could include building an extension or relocating a kitchen.
The service standards will be applied to all housing adaptations and relevant to:
- Local Authorities
- Care and Repair Agencies
- Registered Social Landlords
- Housing Associations
- Occupational Therapists
- Healthcare and Social Service Professionals
Rebecca Evans said:
“We want to ensure that the system of providing housing adaptations is more straightforward and that people who request adaptations can expect a consistent standard of service.
“Housing adaptations bring essential benefits to individuals and their families’ mental and physical wellbeing, as well as helping to reduce pressure on frontline services. I want to create a housing adaptation system in Wales that is consistent and fair and easy to navigate for people who need extra support to stay in their homes.
“I am keen that we continue to work with the sector to create service levels that apply regardless geography or type of accommodation. However, I want to ensure that we give flexibility to service providers to determine the best way to use their resources to meet these standards.
“We have worked closely with the WLGA, Care and Repair Cymru, the Older People’s Commissioner, Tai Pawb and many other organisations in the sector to create these standards.
“I hope to hear many more views from people who have experience of the system to help us make these standards as effective as possible.”