The Department for Social Development and Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety have officially endorsed the Adaptations Design Communications Toolkit, which is the product of considerable cross sector collaborative working with disabled people, Occupational Therapists and housing designers/providers.
The toolkit incorporates agreed cross sector good practice and helps to address a number of the recommendations contained in the DSD/DHSSPS Interdepartmental Review of Housing Adaptations Services (November 2013). This Review, which was jointly launched in February 2010 by DSD and DHSSPS, focused on the current system of approval, resources, and delivery of housing adaptations in Northern Ireland on a cross tenure basis. The Review’s key aims were to ensure that value for money in terms of resources and service delivery were being achieved, and that there is equality of such provision across the Health and Social Care Trusts and other housing providers.
Key outcomes are to ensure that housing adaptations will make the home of a person with disabilities suitable for his/her assessed needs and, importantly, to help promote independent living in the community.
The toolkit includes:
- A range of minor housing adaptations, which can be provided without the need for referral to HSC Trusts for assessment, thus harmonising NIHE and Housing Association provision.
- Evidence based, consistent and equitable housing adaptations design standards for all housing tenures.
- Improved design formats that will help disabled people visualise and discuss proposed housing adaptations.
- Standardised and robust Occupational Therapy formats for housing adaptations recommendations, financial governance, specifications, and follow up communications to all housing providers.
- Electronic formatting that will help to facilitate more timely and consistent inter and intra-agency communications.
Full regional stakeholder implementation of the Toolkit will has now commenced from 1st April 2014, of which we are confident will help to secure improvements in the delivery of housing adaptations services throughout Northern Ireland.
Click the following link to read the adaptations_design_communications_toolkit in full.