Swansea Labour has welcomed the outstanding work from the Swansea Council’s Renewals & Adaptations Team which has seen people with disabilities waiting less time than in previous years for vital home adaptations.
The Labour-controlled Swansea Council has given its full backing to the introduction of a number of improvements in providing Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG).
This means that an increase in the speed of completion of home adaptations can ensure residents stay at home instead of going into residential care. This has been shown by the latest report to the Council’s Adult Services Scrutiny Performance Panel.
It has shown that in 2017/18 the delivery of DFGs has reduced to 235 days – down from 340 days in 2015/16.
The improvements are a result of a number of measures introduced by the Council to ensure residents have vital changes to their homes more quickly.
Many of the service improvements have been in place for a number of years with some featuring in a report published more recently (February 2018) by the Wales Audit Office, which carried out a review of Housing Adaptations in Wales.
Labour Councillor Andrea Lewis, Cabinet Member for Homes and Energy in Swansea Council, said: “The latest review by the Wales Audit Office is a great indicator that Swansea has been going in the right direction in the last few years with many of their recommendations already in place in the city.
“The importance of completing adaptations to homes as quickly as possible cannot be understated – it can mean the difference between them staying in their own home or having to be placed in residential care or even being kept in hospital.
“The process of completing the applications can be quite challenging for some so introducing support for applicants has been a huge help for many.
“The next step will be to look at other recommendations featured in the review so we can consider further options to improve the service.”
The introduction of caseworkers who visit applicants at home and go through the application process has also helped and the Council now employs its own in-house team of occupational therapists who make assessments on what changes need to happen.
In 2017/18 367 DFGs were completed along with 543 council house adaptations and 734 minor adaptations grants, totalling nearly £7.5 million investment.