- Do you live in the Winchester District and in a Winchester City Council property?
- Do you have a permanent disability (physical, behavioural or mental health issue)?
- Are you elderly or have any problem living independently?
We may be able to enable you to live as independently as possible:
- Adapting your home
- Helping you find a more appropriate home
- Providing additional support (supporting people)
- Referring you to more relevant services: i.e.
- Social Services
- Health services
- Independent Community Organisations and user groups
Policy for Adaptations to Winchester City Council-Owned Properties, for Disabled and Elderly People
1.0 Statement of Intent
W.C.C are committed to ensuring that tenants and their immediate family/carers can continue to live as independently as possible in the Community by carrying out adaptations that are both "necessary" and "reasonably practical" in terms of both the tenants need, and the viability of the property.
Where it is not feasible to adapt the existing home, W.C.C will support a move to a more appropriate property and ensure advice regarding options about relevant services and time scales is readily available.
2.1 Requests for major adaptations to W.C.C. properties are co-ordinated by the Property Services Department, following an assessment by an Occupational Therapist. (NB if only minor works/repairs or maintenance is required then the tenant, carer or family member can request the work). The upper limit for Major works is generally £30,000, although Children and extremely complex cases may be considered above this limit.
2.2 Any request from Owner Occupiers and Tenants of Registered Social Landlords or Private Housing tenants are dealt with via the Environmental Health Department within the Winchester Council (please see Disabled Facilities Grants (D.F.G).
2.3 W.C.C. Tenants are not required to make a formal application for a D.F.G. as works are not financially assessed up to £4,000. This provides W.C.C. Tenants with a preferential service for the majority of major adaptations that are requested (level access showers and straight stair lifts). The main need is for an Occupational Therapist to complete an assessment and refer to W.C.C., identifying the appropriate adaptation and priority under "Fair Access to Care": Critical, substantail, moderate and low. W.C.C. and Social Services recommend that Major Adaptations are only considered for clients within the critical and substantial category, but when demand permits, clients will be considered in the moderate category.
However, all cases will be considered on their individual need basis, and the risk factors of not undertaking any adaptations will be assessed by both Social Services and W.C.C. and alternative options will usually be offered.
2.4 Once the assessment is completed the tenant will be placed on the waiting list at W.C.C. in accordance with the priority system relating to"Fair Access to Care".
2.5 Tenants identified as "critical" can usually expect their work to be undertaken within approximately 2 months. These are people who:
- Cannot return/ access their home following hospital admission, or decline in their condition.
- Cannot access basic essential amenities within the home, such as toilet, bedroom, kitchen, or care for a family member by accessing such facilities.
- Cannot sustain living, or life, at home unless the essential adaptations are undertaken (even with carer support). Critical/major works may require panel approval and planning submission.
2.6 Tenants identified as "Substantial" can usually expect their adaptations undertaken with approximately 9 months. These are people who:
- Have an appreciable but not "Critical" need.
- Life within the home and community may be severely compromised but they or their carers are not affected to the point that life cannot be sustained. However, if the adaptation is not undertaken within a reasonable timescale, it could affect their ability to maintain independence and may lead to a decline in their general condition and ability to remain in the community.
2.7 Tenants identified as "Moderate" may not receive Major Adaptations,
but may be offered other alternatives, i.e. minor works or equipment for easier living, if it is felt by both W.C.C. and Social Services that this would be an acceptable offer to enable such tenants to remain "independent and safe" within their own home. These are people who:
- Can generally manage their lives independently, and may not have a severe disability that affects many aspects of their daily living.
- May cope currently with moderate difficulty and manage with "equipment", but would ideally prefer to have a major adaptation to ensure life is "easier", i.e. a level access shower, over bath shower.
2.8 Tenants identified as "Low" are unlikely to be eligible for anything more than advice and information about what options are available for them should they choose to fund their own adaptations. These are people who:
- Can manage their lives completely, but who feel they would like to have an adaptation to improve the quality and ease of their daily living.
- They do not usually feel they have a "disability" but may have a minor difficulty managing one activity (usually the bath). However, they are still managing without risk to themselves.
3.0 Further works
3.1 Where essential additional works will be required to compliment the adaptation and bring the property up to "Better Homes Standards". W.C.C. may consider additional works, i.e. refurbishment, if it will improve the standard of the property for the benefit of both tenant and Council.
4.0 Communal areas
4.1 There is no Statutory Duty to grant works to communal areas in Council property. However, W.C.C. recognise that where works are both essential and reasonably practical, they may consider essential access issues for individual named tenants, however this must not "disable" or "compromise" other tenants safety.
5.0 Non Essential Works/ Discretionary Works
5.1 Storage for electric wheelchairs or scooters, hard standings and cross overs: These requests are considered on individual need, and with regard to the "Fair Access to Care" criteria. Not supported by the Authority unless part of a care/assessment package i.e also require wheel chair use/access.
Accessing the Service
If you are not currently in contact with Hampshire Social Services and wish to discuss your housing needs, please contact us directly for information of the services available. You will also receive advice to the eligibility criteria, and which is the most appropriate route to gaining these services:
Address: City Offices, Colebrook Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 9LJ
Tel: 01962 840 222
If you have a permanent disability, care for someone with a disability, or are elderly and have difficulties living within, or accessing your home: Please contact Hampshire Social Services (Adult Services) OT Direct on 0845 600 4555, where you will receive:
- Advice and information.
- An Occupational Therapy assessment, or a care management assessment, (where relevant) to enable you to maintain your independence.
- Referral to a variety of Services, to help you live as independently as possible in your home.
Minor Adaptations (up to the value of £500)
Where someone is experiencing specific difficulty in their home, and when this can easily be resolved with a minor work. i.e. a second stair rail or grab rails at the front door. These tenants will be considered for self referral to Winchester City Council, without the need for a specialist assessment. The majority of this work is usually undertaken as part of the "fast track service" by direct referral to property services, and the work is usually undertaken within 10 working days.
Major Adaptations (work over £500 which requires more specialist assessment, and does not come into the category of repair and maintenance)
Tenants usually have to be "registered as disabled" (through Social Services). However, "Fair Access to Care" and a commitment by W.C.C. to ensuring that tenants can live safely in their homes, has resulted in the Councils' intent to consider adaptations, where someone would remain at "critical or substantial" risk without the adaptation. Tenants generally have to be assessed at this level of risk, under Fair Access to Care, via Social Services. The adaptation requested must be both necessary and practical, and this decision is made in partnership with Tenant, W.C.C. and Social Services
1.0 Disabled Adaptations Classification
1.1 Minor Adaptations (Fast Track service)
These are adaptations to W.C.C. properties that only require the tenant, family or Carer to identify the necessary adaptation required. The work must cost less than £500.
The list of likely work undertaken on request is:
- Grab Rails
- Banister Rails
- Newell Rails
- Key Safe
- Internal Door Thresholds
- Reposition Door Handle
- Lever Taps
- Kitchen cupboard handles
- Door and wall protectors
- Altering sockets and light switches
- Door Intercoms
If visually impaired:
- Paint nosings on steps and stairs
- Provision of external lighting
- Provision of lighting in principle rooms
If hearing impaired:
- Flashing/ loud doorbells
- Smoke Alarm Alerts
1.2 Major Adaptations work requiring specialist assessment and costing over £500)
All these works are subject to an OT assessment and recommendation of essential work prioritised under "Fair Access to care" criteria
The work is co-ordinated by Property Services in partnership with Social Services and the tenant.
The list of likely work that can be undertaken includes:
- Over bath showers
- Level access shower
- Through floor lifts
- Door and Threshold adaptations (including door openers and environmental controls where part of a major scheme)
- Ramping or adaptations to steps
- External Rails
- Improving access to toilet, bathroom and essential living areas
- Adapting the kitchen to provide accessible facilities to enable the disabled person to access and use the kitchen
- Adapting heating and lighting controls to ensure appropriate access an ease of use
- Extensions to existing property to provide essential amenities, i.e. accessible bath or shower facilities, bedroom
N.B. please note this list is not exhaustive, and other adaptations may be added or considered.
2.0 In formulating this policy we have taken into account the objectives of Strategic Documents and current Social care legislation.