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People with a hoarding tendency need a more cohesive, integrated and effective service responses to better meet their needs and reduce risks, according to an independent review.

Hoarding is a condition which is often misunderstood and it is therefore often not fully recognised. As a result, many local services fail to provide an adequate response to people with hoarding tendencies.

Hoarding is a complex issue resulting from an underlying mental health condition but with potentially widespread impacts. A multi-agency, multi-level response is therefore required to provide an effective response.

Foundations commissioned a report to research underlying issues and provide a blueprint for a cohesive and integrated service response to support people with a hoarding tendency.

Other key recommendations include:

  • A specialised hoarding service with a dedicated caseworker coordinating the approach.
  • Funding for decluttering, preferably delivered by a specialised hoarding company.
  • Ongoing support to prevent relapses, for example the provision of CBT, group therapy or peer support.
  • Established referral networks and well-maintained partnerships.
  • Close cooperation with enforcement services, the NHS, Fire Services.
  • A local hoarding protocol setting out the steps of intervention and eligibility for services.

Paul Smith, Director of Foundations, the national body for Home Improvement Agencies and DFG, said: “Hoarding is an increasingly costly and complex issue for local authorities to deliver service solutions for. There is currently little research and best practice case studies available as resources. We want to see more multi-agency protocols to support people living with hoarding tendencies.”

Copies of Hoarding: A Report into Best Practice can be downloaded here