Welfare

21.12.16

Councils awarded share of £25m disabilities fund

The winners of £25m of funding to help local people with learning disabilities live in their own homes have been announced.

The Department of Health fund will be used to adapt existing houses and create new accommodation. Measures to make it easier for people with learning disabilities to live on their own include shared ownership schemes, installing new technology and providing community support.

The money has been given to 52 councils and will become available over the next two financial years. The biggest awards were £2.4m for Shropshire Council, £2m to Cornwall Council and £1.8m for three projects with Gloucestershire County Council.

David Mowat, the care minister, said: “I want to offer my sincere congratulations to the successful projects. We had a fantastic response to our call for bids and I’m delighted that the innovative ideas put forward will now become a reality.

“I want to thank the bidders for their dedication to improving the lives of people with learning disabilities in their community and wish them all the best in bringing this important project to life.”

Currently, only 15% of adults with learning disabilities in England have a secure long-term tenancy or their own home.

The funding will serve to reduce pressure on the NHS by reducing the need for hands-on care and unnecessary hospital admissions for residents, and preventing them from having to live in hospital or residential care.

Separately, NHS England, in partnership with the LGA, announced today that Birmingham and Solihull, Nottingham City, Hertfordshire, Islington, Sheffield and Nottinghamshire will become early adopters of the Integrated Personal Commissioning (IPC) programme.

The IPC programme aims to join up health, social care and other services to help people with complex needs, including long-term disabilities, mental illness and learning disabilities, have more control over their care needs.

It has set a target of giving 50,000 people personal health budgets by 2020-21 and could eventually provide care for 2.5 million people.

James Sanderson, NHS England director of personalisation and choice, said: “We know people want a greater say in their own care and that of their loved ones. These new centres will continue to bring more choice to people across the country and are a big step in joining up health, social care and the voluntary and community sector to improve the lives of people with the most complex needs.”

The LGA has predicted that more integrated care would cut hospital admissions by a quarter. In August, local authorities published transforming care partnerships to deliver joined-up care for people with learning disabilities and autism.

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