The council introduced a new Housing Assistance Policy (HAP) detailing the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) options that an individual can receive, in November 2022.
One of the key aspects of the policy was fast tracking certain types of equipment, such as stairlifts. The policy will help improve the lives of local people as it will provide more flexibility in how the grant can be administered. This will help reduce waiting times.
The stairlift contract agreed yesterday (Monday) at cabinet with Handicare Accessibility Limited, will streamline the process of the stairlifts and cut waiting times for people who have been assessed and have had their DFG grant approved.
The council is including key performance indicators and will manage the process to ensure the provider delivers and installs stairlifts within suitable time frames. Previously local people were waiting more than one year for equipment such as stairlifts, and with the introduction of the new policy and working with the new stairlift provider, the council will reduce the waiting time for the process of stairlifts to less than half.
Stairlifts can have a huge impact on helping people to continue to maintain personal independence within their own homes. Enabling people to access all areas of the home reduces the need to adapt ground floor living space, especially important in homes occupied by other family members or care givers, where the alternative option would be residential care settings.
The contract will be for three years with two possible extensions.
Councillor Anna Wright, cabinet member for public health, social care, and wellbeing, said: “This new contract with Handicare Accessibility Limited will cut waiting times in half for residents in need of a stairlift, allowing them to stay in their own homes, and improving their quality of life. Previously the waiting times residents were facing were unacceptable and meant that they potentially couldn’t access the first floors of their homes. I am really pleased that this will be a quicker and easier process for those in need of assistance.”