CELG(4) HA 30

Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee

Inquiry into Home Adaptations

Response from : Older People’s Commissioner for Wales: additional written evidence 1

Aids and Adaptations

List of good practice provided by Welsh local authorities – December 2012


Joint Working

·        Co-location of OTs with grant officers has  reduced waiting list from two years in 2010  to two months

·        Council has employed on a trial basis an adaptations coordinator to bridge OT and adaptations teams. 

·        Invested in additional OT support to speed up the assessment process

·        Managed by an integrated disabled person’s service including surveyors, OTs. 

·        Close links with RSLs who delivery PAGs

·        Workshop bringing together officers from social services and housing

·        Monthly meetings between Housing and OT

·        Joint working between housing and OTs (colocation)

·        Reorganisation of OT into a single service team

·        Officer seconded to Housing Renewal Team

·        Good joint working with OTs

·        Close partnership with C&R (co-located with the council).


Use of resources

·        Acknowledged timescales need to be reduced and have invested officer time and financial resources. This has reduced delivery time from 809 to 399 over three years.

·        Cabinet considering proposals for additional resources

·        Funding to Care and Repair

·        Provision of sufficient capital to adaptations even in financially challenging times – no applicant has to wait for grant assistance as a result of lack of funds

·        Recycling of equipment

·        Living Independently Home Repair Grant tackles other works of repair e.g. roofs or electrics at same time as DFG.

·        Strong financial support, consistent capital allocation


Customer experience

·        Recently started monitoring feedback from clients, for example 82% of people who received a DFG felt it helped them stay independent.

·        Telephone based enquiry service and home visit options for applicants

·        In house agency service to hand hold applicants through the process.

·        Early draft means test to give potential applicants a very early indication of any financial contribution

·        Root and Branch review in 2007 to identify process efficiencies, streamline customer journey.  Reduced from 500+ days to 175 days

·        Customer satisfaction levels high (95%)

·        Home visits


‘Process’ issues

·        Changes to Housing Renewal Policy specifically aimed at reducing delivery times over the next 12 months.

·        Partnership with LSVT  with a panel to consider applications for adaptations, including moving to a new property.

·        Tighten up on targets for each step of DFG process

·        Joint pre-referral visit by housing surveyor and OT to ensure any recommendations are reasonable and practical

·        Fast track procedure for urgent cases

·        Prioritisation system to deal with most urgent cases first

·        Using surveyors as assessors to reduce OT waiting times

·        More accurate recording

·        Fast track stair like service for palliative care

·        Refining application process

·        E-referal process from OT to grants team

·        Dedicated team with specialist OTs

·        Fast track for priority cases


Alternatives to DFG

·        Minor works commissioned separately

·        Prioritising hospital discharge for minor adaptations

·        Partnership with Care and Repair to deliver minor adaptations and the RRAP programme (average time 4 days)

·        Safety at Home Scheme: partnership between OT and C&R (delivered 454 minor adaptations last year, average time 6 days)

·        Discretionary relocation grant via Pathways to Adapted Housing Register

·        Minor adaptations Grant for less than £2k (average 59 days)

·        Financial incentive to move

·        11 days to deliver minor adaptations

·        Loans and grants for other repairs and improvements


Contractors / building work

·        Recently re-tendered for building contractors

·        Framework contract with local contractors – with agreed timescales and schedule of rates

·        Approved contractor agreements.

·        One experienced local architect

·        Joint feasibility visits OT and grants

·        Expert local contractors

·        Schedule of rates (removed tendering)

·        In house grant agency

·        Registered Builders Scheme – advice on sourcing a builder