6. The Implication for Housing Authorities
Integration Authorities, along with other relevant partners need to consider how planning and delivery of services relating to adaptations can best be implemented for the benefit of all individuals assessed as requiring support.
It is important to recognise that the Act and the Regulations set out where the responsibilities will in future lie for adaptations, they do not prescribe the delivery arrangements - these will be decided locally. Integration Authorities will need to ensure, that in taking a person-centred approach, as required by the Act, they plan and direct delivery of adaptations that support preventative and anticipatory care.
Over the next 6 to 9 months, Integration Authorities will be preparing their Strategic Plan (Strategic Commissioning Plan) which will determine the future arrangements for strategy, funding and delivering equipment and adaptations. Specific issues, which should form the 'agenda' for discussion with the Integration Authority, are:
- The level of resource attaching to grant funding for adaptation, across tenure, to be delegated to the Integration Authority.
- The future delivery arrangements for such adaptations - with a strong focus on service improvement, underpinned by preventative and anticipatory care approaches.
- Clarification of the respective roles in relation to the Scheme of Assistance.
- Any transition arrangements, if changes are to be made in the short term, to ensure continuity for existing grant applicants and recipients.
It will be for housing services locally to assist in shaping and influencing the arrangements for adaptations in their area, in a way that takes full consideration of the importance of adaptations (and housing more widely) helping to achieve the improvement in outcomes for individuals. Housing practitioners can do this by:
- Ensuring the Chief Housing Officer in each local authority is both aware of and engaged in current and future discussions on health and social care integration and in particular the governance and strategic planning arrangements for adaptations.
- Ensuring that there is clarity about the respective roles of the Integration Authority and the local authority, and any others such as Care and Repair, in relation to the Scheme of Assistance.
- Getting involved in discussions over establishing arrangements for Locality Planning within their area.
- Recognising that the greatest change may in practice be with the local Care and Repair service, and producing leadership and support in the relationship with the Integration Authority.
- Note that arrangements for the funding of adaptations for the tenants of Registered Social Landlords are not included in the functions outlined above and will continue to operate as before.