A helping hand from CFOA BlueWatch|
Apr 19th 2018
In the autumn of 2017, BlueWatch/CFOA donated 1,000 Fire Angel cold detectors to Foundations and FILT. We then distributed the alarms to a number of community organisations across the north west of England.
Not your average DFG - Paul's blog|
Apr 11th 2018
There are 326 housing authorities in England and I often say this means there are 326 different ways of handling DFG applications. If you came along to the recent DFG Review workshops you’ll know that the support available to potential applicants ranges from just handing them an application form through to fully integrated teams that help them every step of the way – and lots of variations in between.
Foundations 2020 - Paul's blog|
Mar 20th 2018
One of the common misconceptions about Foundations is that we’re a membership organisation, and that Home Improvement Agencies (HIAs) are “our members”. In fact, we’re a contractor to the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and we’ve just signed a contract extension that runs through to September 2020.
Housing seen as key in delivering sustainable health & social care services|
Mar 19th 2018
Government departments and organisations from across the health, social care, and housing systems, including Foundations, have come together to recognise the key role of housing and reaffirm their commitment to work together.
L&G new equity product - exclusively through HIAs|
Mar 19th 2018
Legal and General have launched a new lifetime mortgage for Home Improvement Agency clients. Developed with Age Partnerships and Foundations the new product has no advice fees, no arrangement fees and heavily subsidised legal costs.
Experts to carry out independent review of Disabled Facilities Grant|
Mar 7th 2018
The University of West of England has been appointed by the Government to carry out an independent review of Disabled Facilities Grants (DFG) in England. The University will be working with Foundations, the Building Research Establishment (BRE), Ferret Information Systems and an experienced occupational therapist to look at both the operation of the grant and the wider delivery of home adaptations to support the independence of disabled people living in their own homes.
We must collaborate to make homes suitable for the elderly|
Mar 6th 2018
As the Director of Foundations - the National Body for Home Improvement Agencies (HIAs) - I’m sure it will come as no surprise to hear that I fully support the recommendations in the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee's report on Housing for Older People.
Our charity will set up a pilot to help make homes dementia friendly|
Mar 5th 2018
The charity, Foundations Independent Living Trust (FILT), will allocate a £10,000 donation by residential developer Taylor Wimpey to four Home Improvement Agencies (HIA). Each HIA will receive a £2,500 grant and the money can be used for improvements such as bathroom and shower adaptations.
English Housing Survey 2016-17|
Feb 20th 2018
The English Housing Survey (EHS) is a national survey of people's housing circumstances and the condition and energy efficiency of housing in England. It was first run in 2008-09. Prior to then, the survey was run as two standalone surveys: the English House Condition Survey and the Survey of English Housing. This report provides the findings from the 2016-17 survey.
'Housing for older people' report calls for more HIAs and Handyperson services|
Feb 9th 2018
Older people should be given more help with housing to help them stay healthy and reduce the need for residential care, said the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee.
Diane Simone from Blackpool Care & Repair is named a Heat Hero!|
Feb 8th 2018
The Heat Heroes Awards are open to individuals across England and Wales, and celebrate those who go above and beyond to get the recognition they deserve – for helping people in their community live in warmer homes.
Abacus Healthcare partners with Foundations so disabled bathers have greater access to specialist baths|
Jan 26th 2018
Abacus Healthcare, the trusted manufacturer of assisted baths for disabled bathers, has forged a new Gold Partnership with Foundations so more families and end users can benefit from safer, enjoyable bathing.
A new job for HIAs?|
Jan 25th 2018
A short blog from Paull Robathan, Chairman at South Petherton Hospital League of Friends and Doctoral Candidate at University of the West of England (UWE).
Renewed partnership with Gas Safe Charity continues to offer crucial support to HIA customers|
Jan 24th 2018
Our charitable arm Foundations Independent Living Trust (FILT) is pleased to announce that it has renewed its partnership with Gas Safe Charity, now in its fifth year. Following an initial allocation of £275,000, an additional £50,000 has been made available from Gas Safe Charity to be used towards minor gas safety works in the homes of older and vulnerable people.
End of year review - Paul's blog|
Dec 19th 2017
As 2017 draws to a close, the long awaited review of the Disabled Facilities Grant has been announced – or at least, the tender notice for the contract to carry it out has.
The real picture on disabled facilities grants, as shown by DFG analytics|
Dec 13th 2017
Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) have been around for nearly 30 years; they’re delivered through 326 local authorities across England, and help 50,000 people per year to adapt their home. Those 50,000 grants generate masses of data, but what do we really know about patterns of delivery, what the grant pays for and, most importantly, the outcomes that are derived?
Small changes to homes can improve quality of life and relieve pressure on NHS and social care|
Nov 28th 2017
A new report published today finds that making small changes to older people’s homes, such as installing handrails, ramps and level-access showers, alongside carrying out simple home repairs, could play a significant role in relieving pressure on the NHS and social care and reduce costs by millions of pounds each year.
Autumn budget 2017 - a Foundations briefing|
Nov 23rd 2017
The Chancellor Philip Hammond announced in yesterday's Autumn Budget that £42 million of additional funding will be provided for the Disabled Facilities Grant in 2017-18, to support even more people to stay in their own homes.
DFG Champions roadshows recap - Paul's blog|
Nov 7th 2017
12 months, 9 cities, 12 events, 1,000 people – it’s been quite a year of DFG Champions Roadshows! The idea was to share ideas, frustrations and good practice to inspire change and new ways of thinking. From the feedback I think they’ve been a great success for delegates, but for us, they’ve also proved to be a fantastic way of testing the mood of the sector.
Foundations are proud to partner with Naidex and the Home, Design & Build Summit|
Nov 6th 2017
Naidex is Europe's most exciting event dedicated to the disability, independent living and healthcare professional sectors and it’s completely free to attend! In the wake of the huge success of the most recent instalment of this long-established event, Naidex will return for its 44th year to the Birmingham NEC on the 25th & 26th April 2018.
Let’s get digital (again) - Paul's blog|
Oct 17th 2017
One of my most read blogs this year featured some of the free software and apps that we use at Foundations HQ. So here’s some more suggestions – and again we use them all, and they’re all free!
What's in a name? - Paul's blog|
Oct 2nd 2017
What does the term “adaptation” mean to you? As you’re reading this then you’re probably thinking about stairlifts, level access showers and ramps. Or maybe grabrails, half steps and toilet frames? Or do they count as “minor adaptations” or “equipment”?
Home Improvement Agency Awards celebrate efforts to support independent living|
Sep 15th 2017
Two pioneering organisations providing vital, tailored services to thousands of vulnerable people have been jointly crowned Home Improvement Agency Service of the Year.
DFG Champions at 1|
Aug 23rd 2017
'DFG Champions' is 1. It somehow seems longer than a year ago that we tentatively launched with the simple idea to create a social movement around DFG. To bring together a group of people from across the Country who want to see positive change in the way home adaptations are provided.
What does good mean? - Paul's blog|
Aug 8th 2017
Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) have now been around for nearly three decades. In most of that time they have been very much seen as a housing function with pretty straightforward metrics: keep waiting times short, average grants low and grant completions high.
Take the public health approach for housing an ageing population|
Jul 11th 2017
It is important to ensure that much greater numbers take informed decisions about how they will live in their own home in later years of their lives, writes Francis Philippa, Strategy Lead at Foundations.
£80m Life Chances Fund|
Jul 11th 2017
The government has announced an £80m Life Chances Fund (LCF) 'to provide payment-by-results contracts for locally developed projects by socially minded investors'. Contracts must be locally commissioned and aim to tackle complex social problems. The LCF has six themes and it has now issued a call on the last theme - Older people’s services.
Leading Leeds charity celebrates 30 years of success|
Jul 10th 2017
Lord Best and Hilary Benn M.P joined around 100 clients, partners and professionals gathered at The Vinery Centre in Leeds this week to celebrate 30 years’ service by one of the city’s leading voluntary organisations.
How councils can best use Disabled Facilities Grants|
Jul 7th 2017
The Better Care Fund (BCF) is designed to promote joint commissioning of health and social care by pooling a number of previously ring-fenced budgets.
New DFG portal offers speedy solution to home adaptations|
Jul 7th 2017
The time it takes to carry out home improvements for vulnerable people is set to be cut by a new online application from Foundations.
Home adaptations for disabled children|
Jun 16th 2017
Survey finds very significant costs savings result from home adaptations for young people with Autistic Spectrum Disorders but are hampered by ‘integration difficulties’.
Houses need to be adapted for older people - Paul's blog|
Jun 6th 2017
Housing associations and councils can help older people adapt their home or move to retirement housing, says our director Paul Smith.
HIA Awards 2017 open for entry|
May 30th 2017
We are pleased to announce that HIAs across the country can now submit their applications for the HIA Awards 2017. There are seven categories to choose from, and the winners will be announced on 14th September at the House of Lords.
DFG Champions Roadshows Spring 2017 - Paul's blog|
May 10th 2017
Four cities, 350 people and a lot of talk about improving the delivery of DFG! DFG budgets have grown considerably in the last couple of years thanks extra investment from the Department of Health. But going forwards that brings added responsibility - they don't just want more of the same.
What to expect at the DFG Champions roadshows - Paul's blog|
Apr 11th 2017
I think the DFG Champions Roadshows are probably my favourite thing that we do. Spending four days talking to hundreds of people committed to making a difference is really inspiring.
Minor home repairs bring major benefits to health|
Apr 4th 2017
Around 9,000 people died during the winter of 2014-15 as a result of living in a cold home. These figures, from a study by University College London, show that one fifth of the 43,900 excess winter deaths were caused by health conditions brought on or exacerbated by fuel poverty.
There’s more to integrating housing and health than building new homes|
Mar 29th 2017
Last year the FILT saved the NHS at least £2.4 million through house improvements for older and vulnerable people at risk of fuel poverty. We distributed grants worth £637,000 through our Warm at Home programme to 3,600 people in England, helping them stay safe warm and well in their own home.
Dementia-friendly housing charter|
Mar 27th 2017
Alzheimer's Society's new Dementia-friendly Housing Charter is aimed at the full range of housing sector professionals across all tenures, ranging from planners and architects to landlords and developers, housing managers and handypersons.
Trustmark and Chartered Trading Standards Institute join forces to improve consumer confidence|
Mar 24th 2017
The Chartered Institute of Trading Standards (CTSI) and TrustMark have partnered to deliver joint services that offer greater levels of consumer protection and confidence across the many trades delivering services in and around the home.
Foundations workplan review - Paul's blog|
Mar 20th 2017
This time last year I decided that we would publish our workplan for the year. The idea was to be much more transparent – tell you what we were planning to do so that you could get involved with some of our projects, or vice versa if we had a mutual interest.
Five reasons why you should care about housing and health – Sam Haskell (DH)|
Mar 3rd 2017
Day in, day out staff working in the NHS will see the interconnection between housing and health, and recognise its importance. Here are five reasons why they are right to be interested.
Let's get digital - Paul's blog|
Feb 16th 2017
I like technology and I like free stuff. So free technology, what’s not to like! Over the last couple of years there’s been a real explosion in Software as a Service (SaaS) for business. These are websites that offer online tools you can use in a web browser, and increasingly through mobile apps. We’re using several of these systems at Foundations HQ that you might also find useful.
Fix our broken housing, not just the market!|
Feb 13th 2017
Our charitable arm Foundations Independent Living Trust is calling on the Government and corporate Britain to dig deeper and fix the country’s broken housing as part of National Energy Action’s Fuel Poverty Awareness Day (17 February).
Help us raise funds for research on older people’s views on adapted homes|
Feb 6th 2017
We have launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund research into older people’s views on adapted homes. We hope insight drawn from this work will help to improve support services and enable more people to live independently.
New chair for our charitable arm Foundations Independent Living Trust|
Jan 25th 2017
Foundations Independent Living Trust (FILT), a charity that helps vulnerable Britons to stay warm, safe and well in their own homes, has elected Manchester entrepreneur and campaigner Sara McKee as chair.
Foundations' plans for 2017|
Jan 23rd 2017
Our director Paul Smith sets out some of the exciting projects we will be workingHappy New Year to everyone involved in repairs, improvements and adaptations. I’m currently preparing our workplan for next year so wanted to share with you some of things we’re planning for 2017.
Supported housing funding opportunity|
Jan 6th 2017
The government’s supported housing proposals provide an opportunity for the housing sector to become an integral part of health and care provision, says our director Paul Smith.
LGA published Housing Commission final report|
Jan 4th 2017
The final commission report sets out recommendations for how local and national government can work together to build more homes, and to build homes that meet the diverse needs of people, partners and places.
An irreplaceable service - Paul's blog|
Dec 2nd 2016
I’m sure it won’t come as any surprise to hear that the evaluation of the Warm at Home programme found that a warm home is much better for your health than a cold home. But, there are some interesting findings that should help home improvement agencies to demonstrate their value to local commissioners.
Warm at Home programme has helped thousands of householders stay in their own home ‘warm, safe and well’|
Nov 28th 2016
A £637k programme managed by our charity Foundations Independent Living Trust has helped 3,600 people stay in their own home warm, safe and well over a 12 month period.
Tracking the care journey holds the key to a better life|
Nov 25th 2016
Hospitals are again facing record levels of delays in discharging patients. Figures from NHS England show that during September 2016 there were nearly 200,000 days of delays – a 33% increase from September 2015.
The role of home adaptations in improving later life - we need your reports|
Nov 8th 2016
A new review from Centre for Ageing Better aims to provide evidence on the most effective home adaptations to inform the decisions of health care professionals such as occupational therapists, those that pay for adaptations, and those that design and sell adaptations.
Getting through the front door|
Oct 24th 2016
Foundations has been the National Body for Home Improvement Agencies since 2000. In that time we’ve seen a significant shift in how these services have been delivered.
Cold weather plan for England|
Oct 21st 2016
Despite the warming effects of climate change, cold weather remains the biggest cause of weather related mortality in England. The Cold Weather Plan for England aims to prevent avoidable harm to health, by alerting people to the negative health effects of cold weather, and enabling them to prepare and respond appropriately.
FILT partnership helps more people to live healthier, more independent lives|
Oct 5th 2016
A partnership project offering practical and emotional support to people over the age of 50 in St Helens is celebrating its first anniversary.
Housing and technology fund|
Sep 28th 2016
The Department of Health has announced a new ‘Housing and Technology Fund’. Local authorities, working with their local partners, can apply for funds from a capital pot of up to £25 million for housing and technology to help drive sustainable housing solutions for people with learning disability in their area.
Our charity FILT is looking for new trustees to join the board|
Sep 27th 2016
Our charity Foundations Independent Living Trust (FILT) is a growing and innovative national charity that raises funds to help older adults and disabled people be warm, safe and well in their own homes.
Helping older people stay independent - Paul's blog|
Sep 26th 2016
Home Improvement Agencies (HIAs) have been around for over 30 years and help people across all tenures to keep their home safe, warm and secure.
Helping people with dementia stay living at home|
Sep 22nd 2016
Most people say they would want to live at home for as long as possible if diagnosed with dementia. And that’s mostly what happens. Two thirds of people with dementia live in the community, often with additional support from family, friends and professional carers.
What does ‘marketing’ mean to you? - Paul's blog|
Sep 15th 2016
What does ‘marketing’ mean to you? My dictionary says ‘advertise or promote’ which is probably what you thought too? But is that it?
The DFG circle|
Sep 7th 2016
Not long to go now before we hit the road for the DFG Champions Roadshows. It’s proving to be our most popular event for years and it will be great to discuss how we can all make the most of the extra funding available.
Report highlights role for Disabled Facilities Grants in linking up housing, health and social care|
Aug 8th 2016
The often confusing myriad of home support services that help vulnerable people live more independently via the Disabled Facilities Grant should be combined to create a one-stop shop, according to a new report from Foundations.
Jul 22nd 2016
Well, it’s been quite a week. The annual HIA and handyperson awards are always a special day in the calendar, but to attend my first as Director of Foundations was a real privilege.
English Housing Survey - Adaptations and Accessibility Report, 2014-15|
Jul 21st 2016
The English Housing Survey is a national survey of people's housing circumstances and the condition and energy efficiency of housing in England.
Working to keep people out of care homes – Paul's blog|
Jul 15th 2016
The comprehensive spending review last year announced a significant increase in funding for Disabled Facilities Grants. But with it came the expectation that the extra DFGs investment would “prevent 8,500 people from needing to go into a care home in 2019-20”.
National housing awards celebrate efforts to promote independent living|
Jul 14th 2016
This year’s winners of the national Home Improvement Agency and Handyperson Service Awards have been announced at a ceremony in the House of Lords.
Foundations launches marketing programme tailored for the HIA sector|
Jun 29th 2016
We have teamed up with the multi-award winning author of Watertight Marketing, Bryony Thomas, to bring you a 12 month online course that will help you master the essentials of marketing and improve your commercial results.
Prevention and the Disabled Facilities Grant - Paul's blog|
Jun 23rd 2016
When the extra funding for Disabled Facilities Grants (DFGs) was announced in last year’s comprehensive spending review there was a caveat that the investment ‘is expected to prevent 8,500 people from needing to go into a care home in 2019-20’.
Happy retirement to Sylvia McAllister|
Jun 17th 2016
Sylvia McAllister is retiring as a Caseworker from Lancaster City Council Home Improvement Agency.
Jun 14th 2016
Housing adaptations can help old patients move from expensive hospital beds to the comfort of their own home, says Paul Smith - Foundations' director.
Foundations on the advisory panel for the BATH-OUT trial|
May 26th 2016
We are pleased to be on the advisory panel of an exciting research looking at the links between adaptations and the health and well-being of older people through an investigation of the effects of installing bathing adaptations.
Taking the strain off unpaid carers|
May 20th 2016
The recent State of Caring 2016 report from Carers UK was a stark reminder of the impending crisis England faces. The charity warned how a ‘perfect storm of squeezed public services and financial pressures is pushing carers to the brink’ with more than half expecting their quality of life to get worse this year.
Lincolnshire HIA celebrate ten years' service to the local community|
May 17th 2016
Lincolnshire HIA recently marked their 10th anniversary with a day and evening of celebration, including an afternoon reception and dinner with staff awards.
Better understanding of home adaptations can help improve later life|
May 17th 2016
Adaptations to people’s homes can have numerous benefits – enabling people to manage activities of daily living, to remain mobile and active, reducing falls, and consequently reducing the costs of health and care.
How would you spend £250,000 on health and care?|
May 12th 2016
Home Improvement Agencies (HIAs) operate across most of England. Their role is to work with people to help them to make adaptations or repairs to their homes so they can continue to live there in safety, warmth and comfort.
Good health begins at home|
May 4th 2016
You don’t need to be a medical professional, carer or social worker to know that badly maintained or inappropriate domestic environments can have a long term, detrimental impact on the mental and physical health of the occupants.
9 hours in the future - Part 1|
May 3rd 2016
When I took on my role with Foundations last summer I realised that there would be a fair amount of travel involved. What I never imagined was being invited out to Australia to give the keynote address at their Home Modifications Conference.
Trustmark drums home the importance of home safety|
Apr 29th 2016
As part of an ongoing drive to support the development of home safety in the UK, TrustMark has partnered with the Chief Fire Officers home safety scheme, to promote the assessment and registration of safety features found in both private and rented homes.
Taking a more balanced approach|
Apr 5th 2016
Foundations and the College of Occupational Therapists have responded to a recent report from the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) focused on the benefits of the disabled facilities grant (DFG) programme.
Welsh Government joins forces with TrustMark in campaign to protect against rogue traders|
Mar 22nd 2016
A campaign to protect Welsh householders from rogue traders and incompetent operators launches this week as the Welsh Government joins force with Trustmark to promote its consumer protection service.
The bridge between housing and health - Paul's blog|
Mar 21st 2016
It’s been a busy few months. The announcement that Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) funding would more than double was a very welcome surprise. It was preceded by our well received report into residential care savings and led into the very successful DFG summit that we held with the College of Occupational Therapists just before Christmas.
Fast-tracking home adaptations - Paul's blog|
Mar 9th 2016
I really like Dragons’ Den, BBC2’s search for budding entrepreneurs. Particularly the way a pitch attempts to give a monetary value to an idea, often based on a rudimentary analysis of the target market. The recent ResPublica report on the ‘crisis in residential care’ seems to take a similar approach, suggesting that all delayed discharges from hospital could be resolved by investing millions of pounds into the residential care market.
Off the radar|
Mar 3rd 2016
To coincide with their 30th anniversary, Care & Repair England have published a report which sets out the national picture with regard to the scale of poor housing conditions amongst older people, the resulting impact on the health and wellbeing of an ageing population, and the concentration of poor housing in the owner occupied sector.
‘Adaptations already cut social care costs – here’s how to increase their impact’|
Feb 25th 2016
It is good news that the Disabled Facilities Grant is getting more money but we can make better use of it, argues Doug Stem, DFG Transformation Lead at Foundations.
DFG Summit report|
Feb 10th 2016
In December 2015, Foundations and the College of Occupational Therapists held a DFG summit that brought together Occupational Therapists, HIA managers, Grant Officers, Government officers and leading policy people to discuss good practice in the delivery of the DFG.
Our charity FILT receives funding from npower for caseworker in flood hit areas|
Feb 8th 2016
In the aftermath of December’s floods, FILT and Homelife Carlisle will be ensuring help is available for vulnerable households. Thanks to funding from npower, a worker will be on hand to help people find their way through the difficulties of returning home.
Social value - Paul's blog|
Feb 1st 2016
Everyone knows that HIAs do great things. People tell me all the time about great things that a local HIA has done for them or someone they know. These anecdotes make excellent case studies, but how much impact do they really make on the rest of society? How do you measure the benefit of changing a lightbulb, fitting a grabrail, installing a stairlift or repairing a boiler?
Key principles for improving urgent care for older people|
Jan 28th 2016
An independent commission has called for a fundamental change to the way care for older people is designed and delivered, so that care is tailored around individuals rather than institutions.
Funding for vital equipment in the home|
Jan 14th 2016
Adaptations in the home – whether it’s a ramp, stair lift or level access shower – play a huge role in helping vulnerable people to live in their own properties. For people with limited means, the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) has been the main way to fund this vital equipment and over the last quarter of a century thousands of people, mostly over the age of 65, have received support.
Three year funding deal for Warrington Home Improvement Agency|
Jan 11th 2016
The deal, worth more than half a million pounds, will help WHiA to continue providing vital services, such as home aids and adaptations that help people remain in their own homes rather than hospitals and care homes.
Our latest research reveals impact of adapted homes on independent living|
Dec 11th 2015
An investigation by Foundations has revealed the impact that government support for home adaptations can have on supporting independent living and delaying a move into residential care.
Measuring the benefits of home adaptations|
Dec 10th 2015
It’s now 25 years since the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) was introduced by the Government to fund adaptations that enable people to continue to live in their own homes. Since then it has had a huge impact on hundreds of thousands of lives, with around £1.4bn being spent across England in the last five years.
NICE guideline on transition between hospital and community or care home|
Dec 3rd 2015
NICE – the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence - issued new guidance on hospital discharge for older people and people with a disability.
HIAs can help prevent excess winter deaths|
Dec 3rd 2015
Official figures for England and Wales show an increase in the number of winter deaths, an estimated 43,190 excess winter deaths occurred in 2014/15 - the highest number since 1999/00.