LOCAL GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION
The suitability of the housing stock is of critical importance to the health of individuals and also impacts on public spending, particularly social care and the NHS. This report sets out what is required to meet the housing needs and aspirations of an ageing population, outlines the current policy context and presents detailed case studies of good practice to show how councils are innovating to support older people to live in their homes for longer and promote positive ageing. They include examples of integrated approaches to health, housing and care to support older people at home; care and repair schemes to provide support for older people in mainstream housing, long term housing planning; and developing appropriate new housing for older people. The case studies are from Birmingham City Council, Central Bedfordshire Council, Essex County Council, Mansfield District Council, Newcastle City Council, North Somerset, Bristol, Bath and North-East Somerset Councils, and Worcestershire County Council. The report highlights key lessons from the case studies: having a clear vision, promoting awareness and changing attitudes; housing planning, which meets local need and involves older people; delivering and enabling new housing for older people across the public and private sector; developing integrated approaches to housing, health and care; and sustaining older people in mainstream housing. It also outlines recommendations for Government, policy makers, councils, and providers.
A case study of the Lightbulb project, which brings together County and District Councils and other partners in Leicestershire to help people stay in their homes for as long as possible. The approach includes GPs and other health and care professionals and relies on early at home assessment process at key points of entry. This is delivered through a ‘hub and spoke’ model with an integrated Locality Lightbulb Team in each District Council area and covers: minor adaptations and equipment; DFGs; wider housing support needs (warmth, energy, home security); housing related health and wellbeing (AT, falls prevention); planning for the future (housing options); and housing related advice, information, and signposting. The Lightbulb service also includes a cost effective specialist Hospital Housing Enabler Team based in acute and mental health hospital settings across Leicestershire. The team work directly with patients and hospital staff to identify and resolve housing issues that are a potential barrier to hospital discharge and also provide low level support to assist with the move home from hospital to help prevent readmissions.
A case study and independent evaluation of a housing intervention designed to help older patients to return home from hospital more rapidly and safety. The initiative is delivered by West of England Care & Repair (WE C&R), who organise clutter clearance/deep cleaning; urgent home repairs, emergency heating repairs and essential housing adaptations for older people in hospital. The evaluation examined all case records, interviewed 15 hospital staff and undertook an in depth analysis of a sample of 4 cases. Analysis of the case records estimated a saving in hospital bed days of £13,526. The cost of housing interventions was £948, resulting in a cost benefit ratio of 14:1. Additional savings in hospital staff time amounted to a further £897. A short case study illustrates how the service was able to help one woman return home from hospital. It concludes that the small scale evaluation is indicative of the potential savings that a practical and effective home from hospital housing intervention service can generate for the health service.