Decision Maker: Portfolio Holder for Housing and Strategic Health
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: Yes
The Portfolio Holder for Housing and Strategic Health will be asked to approve proposed changes to the West Suffolk Housing Assistance Policy to increase the maximum threshold of the Fast Track Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) from £7,000 to £15,000. Paper Number CAB/WS/22/025 sets out the rationale for this proposed change.
That the proposed changes to the West Suffolk Housing Assistance Policy to increase the maximum threshold of the Fast Track Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) from £7,000 to £15,000, be approved.
West Suffolk Council had responsibility for the administration of Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs), which were funded through the Better Care Fund. The Council had developed a successful Suffolk wide partnership – Independent Living Suffolk (ILS) and had streamlined the process by which to deliver adaptations to enable residents to continue to live within their own homes.
In 2020/21 the Council established a Fast Track DFG, designed to speed up the process for those simple, relatively low cost, routine adaptations and to maximise the impact to the wider healthcare system, thereby, preventing hospital, care home or residential home admissions and to facilitate prompt discharge of residents from hospital.
The Fast Track DFG was essential for the Council to deliver its objectives of helping as many of its residents as quickly as possible to get the adaptations they needed to remain independent in their own homes and maximising the impact of the DFG allocation to residents within the budget year.
This proposed amendment to increase the maximum threshold of the grant would ensure the grant remained available for use for those less complex, common works, as prices and inflation rises. In doing so, the Council would enable residents to remain living independently in their own homes for longer, improving their quality of life and reducing the burden on the health and social care services.
The option of not increasing the threshold was also considered. However, this would mean that customers were waiting longer to adaptations, as they would be pushed into the mandatory DFG route to access a higher threshold grant. The cost of works were continuing to rise and the works which were completed via a Fast Track DFG would be cheaper than the works completed in six months time via a mandatory DFG.
Not increasing the threshold would also mean the loss of the flexibility and swiftness that the Fast Track offered in supporting hospital discharge and prevention work. Fewer adaptations would also be processed, as would then be reliant on the Suffolk County Council Occupational Therapist assessment process.
Publication date: 13/06/2022
Date of decision: 22/06/2022
Effective from: 30/06/2022