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Hampshire County Council welcomes Government funding for Extra Care

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Hampshire County Council has welcomed the announcement that Winchester is to benefit from £1.8m of Department of Health funding for Extra Care assisted living.

The County Council supported the bid by Winchester City Council and Sentinel Housing for the Department of Health's Specialised Housing Funding - contributing capital funding as part of its plan to stimulate the development of Extra Care assisted living, by investing £45 million over a decade. Under the programme, new schemes across the whole county, are being planed to add to the four new build schemes and 12 enhanced sheltered housing schemes that have already opened.

With funding from the Department of Health now confirmed, work on this development can proceed apace to ensure that the deadline for completion, required by the Department, of 31st March 2015 can be met.

Extra Care assisted living helps people who might otherwise have required residential care, to live in a home of their own. Winchester is considered a key location for future Extra Care due to the current lack of provision and the higher than average older population - there are around 10,800 over 75s living in the Winchester district area and this is predicted to rise by 28.7% to 13,900 by 2020. The new development would complement the Winchester sheltered housing schemes, that have been enhanced to Extra Care, at Danemark House and Matilda House.

The Council is modernising the way it delivers adult social care to better meet the needs and aspirations of older people. Extra Care is a key part of this approach and offers clear benefits to service users and their relatives including; preventative and well-being services to increase independence, with opportunities to meet new friends and become part of a vibrant community.

Extra Care provides people with their own individual apartment, coupled with access to communal and shared space, in modern, high quality, attractive buildings close to local facilities. Schemes include both one and two bed units to enable couples, with differing levels of need, to remain living together. Twenty-four hour care and support is available on-site, by qualified staff, to be used progressively by people as their needs increase, delaying or avoiding early, or unnecessary, entry to residential care alternatives.

In addition, it is planned that this scheme will incorporate extra communal facilities to provide a new permanent home for the day services currently provided at the Kings Worthy Day Centre. Outside the day services operating hours, it is hoped to open up such facilities for wider use - providing a valuable resource for the local community.

Research has shown that people living in Extra Care housing enjoyed better health, had fewer hospital stays and a lower number of falls. They were also less likely to move into residential care.

Councillor Anna McNair Scott said: "This funding is welcome news. For many people, Extra Care is the ideal solution as they can have their own home, but with the added reassurance that help is at hand. Extra Care also allows people to move out of houses, where they are finding it difficult to cope, into a home where they can be secure and live independently.

"As well as providing a safe environment, Extra Care housing enables couples, with different care needs, to stay together. It is also more cost effective than residential care, as people meet their own housing costs or are supported through funding such as housing benefit."

The funding comes from the Department of Health Specialised Housing Fund which is being delivered and managed by the Homes and Communities Agency. Over five years, from 2013/14, the Department of Health has made available £160m capital funding for specialist housing providers to bring forward proposals for development of specialist housing to meet the needs of older people and adults with disabilities outside of London. This funding may be supplemented by up to a further £80m capital funding in the first two years of the programme.

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