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Exploring assessment and allocation in extra care housing

Report, case studies | February 2010

This report, prepared by the Institute of Public Care for the Housing Learning and Improvement Network, examines how the multiple agencies involved in the commissioning and delivery of extra care housing (ECH) for older people can most effectively work together to establish agreed processes for setting eligibility criteria, assessing prospective users` needs, and allocating places. Using data drawn from existing research, supplemented by phone interviews with case study organisations, the document sets out the disparate policy and legislative drivers for each of the key stakeholders, and stresses the importance of producing a clear local strategy for ECH, to which all parties can subscribe.

The main body of the report focuses on the formation of an assessment and allocation policy, covering:

  • the overall role envisaged for ECH, whether as a direct replacement for residential care for those with high-intensity needs, or to comprise a `balanced community` with a range of levels of need;
  • typical eligibility criteria to which the policy will refer;
  • coordination of assessment visits between agencies to minimise disruption to the individual;
  • early establishment of a multi-agency decision-making panel, and procedural matters arising.

It also examines the potential complications of mixed tenure schemes, given that full-owners are likely to be disproportionately low-need, and that the pressure on housing providers to achieve quick sales may conflict with commissioners` agreed assessment procedures.

The latter part of the report analyses the experiences with ECH schemes of three case study organisations - two county councils and a housing authority - looking at their different approaches and priorities, and the problems encountered to date.

For further information please contact Juliet Bligh at IPC


Tel: 01225 484088