Friday, 9 November 2012

Sheltered Housing Support Service review discussed at Cabinet

Northampton Borough Council’s Cabinet will discuss proposals to change the Sheltered Housing Support Service and the outcome of the public consultation on Wednesday, 14 November.
There are 2,200 sheltered housing properties in Northampton and currently support is only provided to these sheltered housing tenants and not to other older people in general needs housing. The current service is considered to be inflexible and fixed at three levels of support plus an emergency alarm. 
The proposals look at changing the service to provide support based on customers’ needs now and in the future. This means that each tenant would have a personalised level of support that can increase and decrease depending on assessed needs.
The changes would also introduce new ways for tenants to access support, for example by popping along to drop-in sessions or telephoning support staff for information and help.
The Council ran a 16 weeks public consultation on the proposals. Around 5,000 paper questionnaires were sent out, 37 drop-in sessions took place and the questionnaire was also available on the Council’s website.
Councillor Mary Markham, Cabinet member for housing said:
 "We began the review of sheltered housing so that we can make sure our services are flexible and meet the needs of our customers now and in the future.  Demographically, Northampton’s population is ageing and we need to plan for this. Funding is also changing so we need to think about ways to do things differently and more efficiently. At Cabinet we’ll be discussing all these factors and the views of local people gathered in the consultation.”
Over 1,000 completed questionnaires were returned by customers during the 16 week consultation.  The results show that over 94% of respondents agreed with the proposal to make the service personalised and that support could increase or decrease according to customers’ needs. Respondents also agreed (85%) that customers without support needs could contact staff by telephone or at a drop-in instead of personal visits and that staff time could be used to provide enhanced support for those who need it the most (92%).
The Cabinet meeting will take place on Wednesday, 14 November in the Jeffrey Room, the Guildhall, Northampton at 6pm.
Members of the public are welcome to attend and can register to speak for three minutes about an item on the agenda before 12 noon on the day of the meeting.