WASHINGTON, D.C. – March 19, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — Housing must be given a bigger role in care and support, according to a cross-party report from MPs and peers published today. The report on the draft care and support bill warns that without greater focus on prevention and integration with health and housing, the care and support system will be unsustainable.
It includes a number of recommendations designed to strengthen the critical role of housing in the planning and delivery of care and support.
The care and support bill aims to improve the planning, funding and provision of care and support to achieve better health and wellbeing outcomes for individuals and their carers.
The key housing-related recommendations in the joint select committe report include:
A definition of wellbeing, as an underpinning principle, to include access to safe and settled accommodation
Advice and information delivered and/or commissioned by local authorities to include housing options around specialist and supported housing and aids and adaptations
Cooperation between agencies (clauses 4 & 5) to be extended to include housing providers
Promoting integration (clause 6.1) to explicitly mention housing provision
Hospital discharge policy and practice to highlight the importance of adequate housing
Assessments to identify and act on issues concerning housing by referring concerns to the relevant local authority.
A recommendation for appropriate housing representation on adult safeguarding board
CIH contributed both oral and written evidence to the committee.
CIH director of health and wellbeign Domini Gunn said: “Housing has a key part to play in care and support so we’re pleased to see that our evidence – and that of our colleagues across the housing industry – has been given careful consideration.
“CIH believes the housing-related recommendations in this report will strengthen the bill and help to ensure that the critical role of a safe, settled home, that meets the needs of the person needing care and support and their carers, is more fully recognised and addressed.
“However, we do have some concerns – we feel an opportunity has been missed to require housing, health and social care to jointly plan and commission services, and there should also be a requirement for housing to be fully engaged in the preparation and delivery of joint strategic needs assessments.
“We will continue to work with the Department of Health to address these issues through the guidance that will accompany the legislation.”
Committee chairman Paul Burstow said: “We need care and support to be more focused on prevention and more joined up with health and housing. There is much in the government’s draft bill to welcome; it cuts through a complex web of arcane legislation that people struggle with. But there is room for improvement.”
The report also warns that the bill’s cap on care costs – announced by the government earlier this year – is likely to lead to an increase in disputes and legal challenges against decisions by local authorities.