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Agenda Item No. 8

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

 

Homes and Safe Communities Scrutiny Committee: 11  October, 2017

 

Report of the Director of Environment and Housing

 

Accommodation Solutions Project - Longmeadow Court, Cowbridge

 

Purpose of the Report

  1. To update Members on the Accommodation Solutions Project at Longmeadow Court following their site visit on 28th September and specifically, the grant funded improvements carried out.

Recommendation

  1. That the Scrutiny Committee notes the contents of this report.

Reason for the Recommendation

  1. To provide Members with the background to the work carried out at Longmeadow Court.

Background

  1. The construction works at Longmeadow Court were carried out as part of the Accommodation Solutions Project which is an innovative partnership project between the Vale of Glamorgan Council, City of Cardiff Council, Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Care and Repair Cymru and Age Connects Cymru.
  2. The project is designed to help those patients who are ready for discharge from hospital but cannot return to their homes due to housing issues, such as the need for adaptations. The five organisations work together to fast-track low level adaptations to patients' houses so that they can return home as quickly as possible. Where this is not possible the team arrange a stay in specially designed properties known as 'step down' units, in order to aid recovery.
  3. In 2015/16 Cardiff and the Vale provided 8 units of 'Step Down' accommodation for patients requiring alternative short term accommodation to assist with discharge from hospital, where discharge was impeded by a housing related issue that prevented the patient from going home.
  4. The 'Step Down' accommodation helped avoid a significant number of hospital bed days (based on patients discharged from hospital who would have likely stayed in hospital). Further, it appears this resource has been deployed effectively for people whose discharge arrangements may have been complex or lengthy and prevented hospital readmissions. Over the course of one year, three units in the Vale were used by sixteen people and avoided 297 hospital bed days.

Relevant Issues and Options

  1. A shortage of older persons' accommodation in the rural Vale had been identified, particularly for older people with deteriorating medical needs. As a consequence, tenants were having to remain longer in sheltered accommodation including Longmeadow Court in Cowbridge. A support needs analysis has revealed that 100% of tenants in this scheme and another scheme in Llantwit Major had significant support needs. As well as a number of residents who are experiencing acute medical needs. This contrasts significantly with the residents' profile in other sheltered housing complexes in the Vale (where around 70% of residents have a support need).
  2. In 2016/17, an opportunity arose to apply for capital grant which would support the improvements already made and address the issues being experienced in the western Vale. A grant application was made to develop a new provision of 'Step Down' accommodation and £212,000 capital grant was secured from the Intermediate Care Fund.
  3. The funding was used to carry out extensive construction works at Longmeadow Court, including: a new two storey extension, providing two units of 'step down' accommodation, office space for staff, additional storage and laundry facilities. In addition, upgrade works were completed to the communal areas including the provision of accessible toilets to allow frail people living in the surrounding area to come into the scheme; join in with activities and receive services.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

  1. In the main, this work has been funded via the Intermediate Care Fund with a capital grant of £212,000. Additional investment in communal hallway upgrades has been met from the major works programme at a cost of approximately £180,000.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

  1. The project will lead to significant resource savings and a reduction in 'bed-blocking' in local hospitals. In addition, the creation of a community resource hub will contribute to significant improvements in residents' health and well-being.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

  1. There are no direct legal implications arising from this report.

Crime and Disorder Implications

  1. There are no direct crime and disorder implications arising from this report.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

  1. There are no direct Equal Opportunities implications arising from the report.

Corporate/Service Objectives

  1. This work is about improving services and supports the overarching vision within the new Corporate Plan, namely 'Strong Communities with a Bright Future' as well as several of the Well Being Outcomes, including 'An inclusive and Safe Vale', ' An Environmentally Responsible and Prosperous Vale', 'An Active and Healthy Vale'.
  2. It is also consistent with many of the core objectives (which support the Well Being outcomes), including: valuing culture and diversity; reducing poverty and social exclusion and raising standards.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

  1. All of the residents were consulted in advance of the work starting and had the opportunity to review plans and make suggestions regarding the work. There was broad support for the changes and the investment in the building.
  2. Consultation was completed with surrounding neighbours and businesses as part of the Planning application. A very small number of observations and comments were received and these were resolved to the satisfaction of the Planners.
  3. The local Ward Members were also consulted regarding the proposed works.

Background Papers

Copy of the full ICF grant application

Contact Officer

Nick Jones - Housing and Strategic Projects Team Leader.

Officers Consulted

Mike Ingram, Operational Manager Public Housing

Lance Carver, Director of Social Services

Committee Reports - Legal

Finance - Operational Manager

Responsible Officer:

Miles Punter - Director of Environment and Housing