Care commissioners – are you missing a trick?
Zetetick Housing is an established housing charity and specialist provider of high-quality, supported living homes for vulnerable adults, people with disabilities, learning difficulties, autism and mental health problems. We have close working relationships with specialist care and support providers in the areas we operate in, and most of our referrals come directly from care commissioners in local authorities. Because we rent properties on the private rental market – anything from 1 bedroom flats to large detached houses – we can be totally flexible and find a home to suit the tenant rather than the other way round. Zetetick Housing is a registered charity specialising in providing exempt accommodation to vulnerable tenants under the specified clauses of housing legislation.
For care commissioners, Zetetick housing can make things happen very quickly if necessary. We are also involved in longer-term projects to develop older buildings and turn them into purpose-built accommodation for supported living. We can put together multidisciplinary teams to create housing that is a joy to live in as well as being extremely cost-effective. We did exactly this in Croydon where we worked with the council, a care provider and a local developer to convert Henderson House, a disused film processing plant to a beautiful building containing 10 top quality self-contained flats, a communal area and office, making best use of personal support worker resources.
Supported living is associated with many positive changes for people moving from a hospital to a home in the community. According to NDTi research, the benefits for the person included ‘improved quality of life; improved functioning; social integration and inclusion; more extensive social networks, increased satisfaction; reduced negative symptoms, increased participation in work and education; increased autonomy; improved self-esteem and happiness; reduced challenging behaviour; increased confidence; and relapse prevention.’ https://www.ndti.org.uk/uploads/files/MH_research_on_supported_housing.pdf
Reduced costs for care commissioners
What also seems clear and is important for care commissioners, is that supported living is much cheaper than hospital in-patient care. In a recent publication funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, ‘Helping People Thrive 2020’, one commissioner said that he was saving money by moving people from hospital care into supported living, and after two years expected the saving to increase by an additional £100,000 for one person. https://www.learningdisabilityengland.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/06/Helping-People-Thrive-00000002.pdf
Another NDTi report from February 2020 stated that a specialist inpatient bed could cost up to £3,500 per week, whereas high level supported housing would be a fraction of that cost. https://www.ndti.org.uk/resources/publications/close-to-home-review-and-recommendations-for-reducing-out-of-area-placement
What also seems apparent is that a person-centred approach is what works long term. At Zetetick we believe that this is the right approach – to treat the person as an individual, to find out what they like and what they want, and to give them choice about the kind of home they want to live in. If these conditions are met, and with the right support and team in place, the chances of the move to supported housing being successful are high.
As care commissioners, if you have somebody you need to find housing for or would just like to find out a bit more, do get in touch