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Agenda Item No.

 

THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

CABINET: 4TH FEBRUARY, 2013

 

REFERENCE FROM SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (SOCIAL CARE AND HEALTH): 14TH JANUARY, 2013

 

 

"           GUIDANCE AND PRIORITIES FOR THE ADAPTATION OF HOMES OF PEOPLE WITH IMPAIRMENTS (DDS) -

 

Committee considered the Guidance and Priorities for the Adaptation of Homes of People with Impairments document.

 

Under the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act 1996, the Council had a statutory duty to provide Disabled Facilities Grants.  These grants funded major adaptations to the homes of people with impairments to enable them to live as independently as possible.

 

The Vale of Glamorgan Council’s Housing Renewal Policy 2011-13 detailed the Council’s policy for Disabled Facilities Grants.  During 2011/12 123 Disabled Facilities Grants were completed at an average cost of £9,744.

 

The delivery of this grant was monitored through a national Performance Indicator.  This considered the days it took to deliver the adaptations works from the first point of contact through to the time the works were certified complete.

 

Over the last few years, officer time and financial resources had been invested to secure improvements.  This investment had been reflected in a year-on-year improvement in the delivery of the service as the performance over the past 3 years demonstrated:

 

Financial year

Time to deliver a DFG from 1st point of contact to completion of work

(National Performance Indicator)

2009/10

802 days

2010/11

569 days

2011/12

399 days

2012/13 - Q2

333 days

 

The demand for major adaptation to peoples’ homes was likely to increase as the population of older people increased and medical advances improved life chances.  Against this increase in demand was the pressure to manage capital budget.

 

The proposed Guidance and Priorities for the Adaptations of Homes of People with Impairments document was attached at Appendix 1 to the report. 

 

The document set out guidance on the technical criteria for adaptations.  The aim of the document was to:

 

·                    provide a consistent approach across all cases and enhance quality control

·                    provide information to the public to ensure the Council’s decisions on eligible grant funded work were transparent

·                    set out and detail an appeals procedure for service users who were not happy with a decision made on eligible grant funded work

·                    help reduce the overall cost of major adaptations to enable the Council to manage pressures on the service.

 

The guidance would be used by the Occupational Therapist and the Disabled Facilities Team when determining what work would be eligible for grant assistance.  The guidance would also be made available to the public to help understanding on the decisions made regarding eligible works. 

 

It was proposed that any future changes to the document could be made by the Director of Development Services and Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety, as necessary and appropriate.

 

Additional reports would be presented to Cabinet during 2013 recommending further changes to the service to continue to improve the quality and timeliness of the service.

 

Members welcomed the progress that had been made in reducing the timing to deliver Disabled Facility Grants, although it was recognised that further improvements were necessary. 

 

Committee were advised that further improvements were likely to arise as a result of the development of a “framework contract” with builders.  Furthermore, it was hoped that the NHS would become involved with assessing applicant’s needs by working with the Council’s Occupational Therapist Team. 

 

It was necessary to meet need, and not demand.  It was known that the population was increasing, but it was impossible to estimate the level of future need. 

 

In noting the recommendation that the Director of Development Services and the Cabinet Member for Housing Maintenance and Community Safety be granted delegated power to make any future changes to the document, it was the wish of the Committee that the Cabinet Members for Children’s and Adult Services be also involved in the process, and that this Committee be advised of any changes.

 

RECOMMENDED –

 

(1)       T H A T the report be endorsed and be referred to Cabinet for consideration and approval of the following recommendations.

 

(2)       T H A T the Guidance and Priorities for the Adaptation of Homes of People with Impairments be approved.

 

(3)       T H A T the Director of Development Services, in conjunction with the Cabinet Members Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety, Children’s and Adult Services be given delegated authority to review and make changes to the Guidance and Priorities for the Adaptation of Homes of People with Impairments document, as appropriate.

 

(4)       T H A T Scrutiny Committee (Social Care and Health) be advised of any changes to the document as the result of recommendation (3) above.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       In order that the views of the Committee are sought and the report referred to Cabinet for consideration and approval.

 

(2)       To provide clear information to officers and the public on the criteria to be used when assessing and funding major adaptations.

 

(3)       To enable the guidance document to be amended quickly due to new legislation, case law, guidance, best practice and Local Government Ombudsman and similar rulings.

 

(4)       To advise the Committee."

 

 

 

 

 

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