The Vale of Glamorgan Council
Cabinet Meeting: 11 May, 2015
Cabinet Member for Housing, Building Maintenance and Community Safety
Disabled Facilities Grants Performance Report for End of Year 2014-15
Purpose of the Report
1. To set out the Council's performance delivering Disabled Facilities Grants during the financial year 2014-15.
1. That the report on performance for delivering Disabled Facilities Grant during 2014-15 be noted.
2. That the progress made on process changes to improve the delivery of Disabled Facilities Grants be noted.
3. That the report be forwarded to Housing and Public Protection, Health and Social Care and Corporate Resources Scrutiny Committees for information.
Reasons for the Recommendations
1. To apprise Cabinet on the Council's performance delivering Disabled Facilities Grants during 2014-15.
2. To apprise Cabinet of the progress made to improve the Council's delivery of Disabled Facilities Grants.
3. In order for Housing and Public Protection, Health and Social Care and Corporate Resources Scrutiny Committees to review the performance of the service.
2. The Council has a statutory duty to consider and approve applications for Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG) where there is an identified need and the property can be reasonably adapted. Disabled Facilities Grants fund the adaptation of privately owned homes to allow residents to live as independently as possible in their own home for as long as possible.
3. The time to deliver Disabled Facilities Grant is a national performance indicator. The Council has previously acknowledged its performance in delivering Disabled Facilities Grants had to be improved. A significant improvement was achieved in 2013/14 (284 days) and a further significant improvement has been achieved during 2014/15 which has seen the time taken to deliver DFG's reduce to 199.
4. The graph below shows the trend in the Council with regard to reducing the time to deliver DFGs over the past 7 years, up to the end of March 2015.
Relevant Issues and Options
5. Performance of the DFG Service continues to improve year on year. A detailed breakdown of the DFG service performance at the end of the 2014/15 year is attached in the DFG Performance Review in Appendix 1.
6. For the financial year 2014-15, the average time to deliver a DFG has reduced to 199 days. This is a 30% improvement on the 2013-14 performance. Based on the trend of improvement across all local authorities across the last 4 years, this performance outcome should be above the Welsh Average. This performance should also take the authority out of the bottom quartile and move it towards the top quartile. Compared to the published DFG performance figures for 2013-14 for Welsh Authorities, this performance would have ranked the Council as 6th in Wales.
7. As reported previously, the improvement is in part due to the introduction of the framework contract during the Autumn 2014. As more grants in the system benefit from this contract arrangement, the greater the benefit to the client from the increased delivery time.
8. In addition to introducing the framework contract for builders, during 2014-15 the DFG service undertook a consultation event with clients. This event took place on the 3rd March 2015. Clients who had accessed the service were invited to speak to the team about their experience of the service and opinion was sought on improvements they would recommend. Through this event it was noted that the service is valued by customers, and adaptations installed have made a difference to their day to day life.
9. In regard to customer service, it was clear the face to face contact clients have through the grants process to assist them complete paperwork and understand the numerous stages in the process was very important. For the service going forward, this feedback needs to be carefully considered given that alternative delivery methods and the use of mobile technology is being assessed to deliver further service improvements.
10. During quarter 4, the Business Improvement Team concluded work with the DFG service using the Business Improvement Toolkit to identify improvements in the service. Using lean service improvement methodology, staff from C1V, occupational therapists and grant officers were led through a 2 day workshop in order to define the existing process, identify bottlenecks and areas of duplication, and collate process improvement suggestions. In addition, the time taken to deliver a number of service requests were mapped against each identified process and decision stage in order to highlight the potential consequence of each current action. Staff were subsequently tasked with returning to their workplace and making the changes in order to enhance the delivery of the service and free up capacity. The actions that were agreed and the ideas to be introduced where workable are included in Appendix 2 to this report.
Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)
11. There are no direct resource implications as a result of this report.
12. There is an identified capital budget for the approval and payment of Disabled Facilities Grants.
13. The Public Protection and Adult Service areas have identified revenue budgets to deliver the service.
Sustainability and Climate Change Implications
14. Adaptations to property to allow owners and occupiers to remain at home to contribute to a sustainable community.
Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)
15. Housing Authorities in meeting their responsibilities under The Housing Act 1985 (To consider housing conditions and provision in their area) are required by the Chronically Sick & Disabled Persons Act 1970 (CSDP) to have specific regard to the special needs of chronically sick and disabled persons.
16. Social Services have duties and powers under a range of legislation including under the CSDP to disabled adults and children to assist in carrying out adaptation work or provision of additional facilities and in relation to Children In Need under the Children Act 1989 to provide services which may include accommodation.
Crime and Disorder Implications
17. There are no crime and disorder implications as a result of this report.
Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)
18. There are no specific equal opportunities implications as a result of this report.
19. Corporate Outcome - Vale of Glamorgan residents have access to affordable, good quality, suitable housing and housing advice and support.
20. Development Services Outcome 1 - Residents of the Vale feel safe in their communities, are healthy and have a good quality of life.
21. Development Services Objective 1 - To improve the health and wellbeing of the residents and visitors by delivering a range of targeted and accessible services.
Policy Framework and Budget
22. This is a matter for Executive decision.
Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)
23. This report is not ward specific and as a result no ward member consultation has been undertaken.
Relevant Scrutiny Committee
24. Social Care and Health.
25. Housing and Public Protection.
26. Corporate Resources.
Elen Probert, Principal Housing and Pollution Officer Tel. 01446 709833
Financial Services - Laura Davis, Finance Support Manager
Social Services - Lance Carver Head of Adult Service/Locality Manager
Business Improvement Team
Rob Thomas - Director of Development Services