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Bridgend Care and Repair

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The overall aim of Bridgend County Care and Repair is to enable older people and people with disabilities to remain within their own homes and within their local communities through the improvement of their housing conditions and their levels of comfort, independence and wellbeing.

This is achieved by bringing together the expertise and finance needed to enable older or disabled people to remain in their own homes. As a consequence, this can help to improve the capacity for independent living, maintain or improve health, reduce the need for social care and ultimately improve peoples' wellbeing.

The type of work-undertaken ranges from small repairs and adaptations such as the installation of a handrail or new door locks to a large-scale work involving major repairs or a specially adapted bathroom for a disabled person

The Agency provides a holistic, client-centred service, tailored to meet the individual housing needs of older people. This includes:

- Advice on housing options and possible sources of funding available through Local Authority grants, charitable grants or building society loans

- Welfare Rights Advice to maximise income and maintain independence

- Advocacy and Liaison with a range of statutory and voluntary sector organisations on the client's behalf

- Technical Expertise on all aspects of building work including obtaining estimates, selecting a suitable builder and monitoring and supervision of all work in progress to ensure quality standards of workmanship

- Practical Assistance and Intensive Support throughout the process

The Agency therefore provides a sophisticated brokerage role in accessing a range of funding sources on the client's behalf in order for repairs and/or adaptations to their homes to be expedited.

This includes private and charitable funding sources as well as statutory sector assistance through social care, health and housing grant aid through Disabled Facilities Grants, Home Repairs Assistance and Renovation Grants.

Since its inception, Bridgend County Care and Repair has demonstrated its ability to work in ways that are relevant to the strategic priorities of the Local Authority and changes in Welsh policy objectives.

The Agency's strength has been its ability to respond to new challenges to develop innovative services in partnership with Care and Repair Cymru, Local Housing, Health and Social Care Providers. These include:

The Care and Safety First Project - This project assists older people with dementia to eliminate risk factors in the home by providing safety modifications and technological equipment. The service is accessed by professionals within the Community Mental Health Teams across the Borough and plays a significant part in preventing the precipitation of vulnerable people into residential care homes.

The Strategic Business Plan 2005/08 identified the need to develop this service to extend the role of Assistive Technology. This has now been achieved with the assistance of "Wanless" grant funding awarded to the Agency in 2005 through Bridgend Local Health Board.

The Safety at Home Serviceis administered on behalf of Social Services. It provides safety modifications in the homes of vulnerable people, identified as "at risk of suffering accidental injury", thereby preventing hospital admission. Referrals are made exclusively by Social Care Professionals who work with older people within the community.

The "Emergency Pressures"Initiative is funded by the Local Authority and Bridgend Local Health Board. The role of Bridgend County Care and Repair is to arrange minor repairs and/or adaptations to patients' homes following the pre-discharge assessment carried out by the Occupational Therapists based at Bro Morgannwg NHS Trust, Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend. The project has proved effective in facilitating safe discharge and preventing the re-admission of vulnerable people to hospital.

The Welsh Assembly Government's Rapid Response Adaptation Programme has continued to make a significant contribution to preventative and rehabilitative services. This has involved the development of effective interplay and service development between the Agency, Hospital based staff and Community Reablement Teams in helping to support very vulnerable people who have been recently discharged from hospital.

The Agency also operates a Small Repairs Scheme in partnership with the Local Authority through Private Sector Housing Renewal funding. The service carries out a range of small repairs, home energy efficiency, and maintenance and also security measures for older homeowners in the community thereby maintaining their level of comfort, security and wellbeing. This service also complements a range of local policy objectives including the Authority's Crime and Disorder Strategy.

The Strategic Business Process 2005/06 identified the need to develop the capacity of Handyperson Service. The Handyperson Service was officially launched and operational from 1 November 2004. Referrals are not made exclusively by health or social care professionals and the aim of the service is to provide equal access to all home owners over 60 who reside within the County Borough of Bridgend.

The service has been developed in line with local policy objectives and is aimed at " encouraging independence rather than supporting dependence and assisting older people to exercise choice, control and autonomy" (Bridgend Joint Strategy for Older People). The service has been designed to complement rather than duplicate the range of other services operated by the Agency that are predominantly statutory led. 75% of referrals received during 2004/05 were self-referrals.

The table below provides a breakdown of funding sources for these services 2005/06:

Source

Capital

Revenue

Bridgend Local Health Board

£0

£35,056

BridgendCounty Borough Council

£90,000

£30,000

Welsh Assembly Government (RRAP)

£35,000

£7,000

Total

£125,000

£72,056

These services are of high strategic importance to Bridgend County Borough Council and the Local Health Board in relation to maintaining older people in their own homes, preventing hospital admission and facilitating earlier discharge.

The work undertaken by the Strategic Business Planning Group has corroborated these projects as an integral part of the Agency's basic core service.

The Bridgend Stairlift Grant Scheme was set up in August 2003 as a partnership between the Local Authority and Bridgend County Care and Repair to fast-track stair lifts for vulnerable older people as an alternative to proceeding through the more time consuming Disabled Facilities Grant process . The Scheme isextremely successful and is an example of optimising service delivery within existing resources to improve the health, independence and wellbeing of vulnerable people in the community.

The Welsh Assembly Government's Report from the Advisory Group on a Strategy for Older People in Wales notes that one of the main problem areas for older people in their own homes is using staircases. Furthermore, it states that adaptations that increase competence within the house "can contribute to the wellbeing and activity of older people and may be effective in restoring independence".

Home Maintenance Service

The Agency is currently in the process of piloting a Home Maintenance Project in the South of the County Borough as a result of development funding being made available from the Welsh Assembly 2005/06.

The purpose of the project will be to improve the wellbeing of vulnerable older people by removing the anxiety and worry of maintaining a home through helping to improve the safety, security and general repair of their homes.

The Home Maintenance Service seeks to fill the gap in existing service provision by offering a comprehensive Healthy Homes Assessment that includes referral to the full range of services offered by the Agency and other appropriate services.


Contact Details:

Bridgend County Care & Repair

Brocastle Manor House

Brocastle

Bridgend

CF35 5AU

Tel 01656 646755

Fax 01656 769740

E-mail: rena.sweeney@bridgendcareandrepair.co.uk

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Are you in the picture?

If you have recently been involved in a community project check out our photo gallery to see if you have been snapped.


Your car may be at risk if you don't hide your keys

There has been a recent spate of dwelling burglaries in the borough where burglars are breaking into houses, taking the car keys and stealing the car and other posessions.

Home Fire Safety Checks

South Wales Fire and Rescue Services carries out approximately 6000 Home Fire Safety Checks and fit approximately 12000 smoke alarms in homes throughout the area each year.