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Joint Action Plan for Healthy Homes

Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) can be awarded by the local authority to help towards the cost of providing housing adaptions and facilities which support disabled people to stay safe and mobile in their own homes. As a two-tier authority, DFG allocations are historically sent directly to district councils who hold the statutory responsibility for them. DFG allocations are now aligned with the Better Care Fund (BCF), in order to drive the transformation of local services and ensure that people benefit from integration.

It was agreed with our six district councils to pool the funds and develop a joint action plan that aligns to the outcomes of the BCF.

The Joint Housing Action Plan covers six broad themes:

six themes

Examples of progress

  • Setting up of the Non-injurious Falls Pick Up service, provided by the Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service in partnership with the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust and social care.
  • Recruitment of Housing Advisors to work with front line staff to provide housing expertise, and older and disabled people and their families to promote positive conversations about their housing needs.
  • Planners, developers and commissioners are working together to influence large scale developments across the county and also with district councils and housing associations in schemes such as the Matson and Podsmead Regeneration Project.
  • Setting up of the Warm and Well Service, provided by Severn Wye Energy Agency, to improve properties through interventions such as cavity wall insulation through to the installation of central heating, to reduce the number of hospital admissions and help people to maintain their independence.  
  • Gloucestershire is representing the UK in a EU initiative (Build2Low Carbon) to reduce fuel poverty.
  • Over 1000 homes across the county will benefit from £5m of investment through the installation of heating measures. The Warm Homes Fund is administered in arrears and our bid would not have been possible without the benefit of the DFG pooled fund to underwrite this risk during the first year of the programme.

Next steps

  • Development of a bespoke team of Occupational Therapists to work solely on DFGs, with a focus on ensuring assessments benefit from asset based community approaches and positive risk taking.
  • A list of adapted properties is being collated to reduce removal of adaptations and speed up housing allocations for disabled and older people.
  • Exploring opportunities for a local Homesharing scheme with Age UK Gloucestershire and county universities.
  • Scoping of a One Stop Shop scheme, to make it easier for people to access equipment to maintain their independence, receive assessments, and get advice from health staff.

The joining up of services through the BCF has resulted in significant benefits for Gloucestershire and would not be possible without strong partnership working and agreement.

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