Improving Home Improvement Services

The Good Home Network had its first meeting this May, focusing on recruitment and retention challenges in delivering home improvement services. The meeting summary has been published on the Centre For Ageing Better website, outlining key resource challenges facing local authorities, including staffing structures and accessing funding. The Good Home Network suggest solutions to these challenges and provides further resources to achieve change.

Challenges in Recruitment and Retention

In September 2022, Skills for Care – the leading source of workforce intelligence for England’s adult social care – published data showing vacancy rates for OT posts in the adults’ services departments at 11.3% (up from 8.9% the previous year). This data highlights a particular issue with recruiting occupational therapists, although it is difficult to recruit staff across various roles with experience delivering the Disabled Facilities Grant.

Local authorities commission external expertise at a high cost to continue delivering services. With the increased cost of living, they must also compete against the private sector to attract recruits based on pay and incentives. Some staffing structures within wider Home Improvement Agencies lead to fragmented teams and affect their ability to deliver services effectively. As the proportion of in-house agencies grows, a multi-disciplinary, integrated and customer-centred approach is required to bring these teams together.

Increased costs, and growing demand for home improvement services, mean some local authorities have to allocate their Disabled Facilities Grant budget by prioritisation methods and waiting lists. Whereas; local authorities in other areas have not been able to use their Disabled Facilities Grant allocation within the budget year.

To read the brief, including solutions and resources, visit https://ageing-better.org.uk/sites/default/files/2023-05/Good_Home_network_briefing.pdf

To read the full report, visit https://ageing-better.org.uk/sites/default/files/2023-05/Learning-output-GHN.pdf

What is the Good Home Network?

The Centre For Ageing Better- in partnership with Foundations – set up the Good Home Network to provide an online hub for active learning. The hub connects people across England to share information, encourage peer support and motivate innovation in improving home improvement services.

Meetings are held every three months, focusing on a specific theme as decided by network members. Housing sector experts are also invited to share examples of good practices that local authorities can build on.

Ageing Better believe the key to improving local home improvement services is bringing together different organisations that share advice, access to finance, and support to undertake repairs and adaptations as a one-stop-shop for residents.

Check out the new explainer film for the Good Home Hub model https://ageing-better.org.uk/improving-homes-good-home-hubs

The next network meeting will be on Thursday, 15th June 2023, 10:00 am-11:30 am.

If you’re interested in hearing more about the network, please email [email protected]