Housing and Local Government Minister Julie James has announced an extra £195,000 to support Care & Repair agencies across Wales to help older people to remain independent in their own homes.
The Welsh Minister has said that currently, many Care & Repair agencies are working with NHS Wales to deliver a ‘winter pressures’ pilot, which is due to see a Care & Repair case worker joining hospital ward rounds to identify patients who could benefit from home adaptations and create ‘rapid solutions’.
This extra funding is said to enable Care & Repair agencies to support people to leave hospital and return to a safe home and deliver a range of small adaptations to a person’s home which can help to ‘reduce pressure’ on hospital services.
These changes can include leveling concrete floors or repairing stairs, installing hand rails or telephone extensions.
The full list of the Care & Repair Agencies receiving funding are:
• Cardiff & Vale, £25,000
• Carmarthenshire, £5,000
• Conwy & Denbighshire, £25,000
• Gwynedd & Mon, £15,000
• North East Wales, £20,000
• West Wales Care & Repair, £20,000
• Blaenau Gwent & Caerphilly, £5,000
• Torfaen & Monmouthshire, £25,000
• Bridgend, £30,000
• Powys, £15,000
• Western Bay, £10,000
On the funding award, Julie James added: “The right housing can help people to maintain their independence and provide the right environment for people leaving hospital – reducing delays in discharging patients.
“This can relieve pressure on emergency departments, which is particularly important during the winter months to alleviate pressure on the NHS while also helping people to live for longer in their own homes.”
Chris Jones, CEO of Care & Repair Cymru said: “We are absolutely delighted with this additional funding from Welsh Government, which will help us carry out home improvements and adaptations which support older people to be discharged from hospital more quickly.
“Our Hospital to Home service enables us to speak to patients and hospital staff earlier about whether a patient’s home is safe, warm and accessible, and where improvements and adaptations are needed, to plan these quicker so that discharge from hospital isn’t delayed by an inappropriate home to return to.
He added: “You could say that we are the property doctor for the NHS.
“Once a patient is medically fit to leave hospital, we make sure that the place they go home to is also fit for them to live in and provide additional support once they are at home which reduces the chances of them being re-admitted to hospital.”