Case study summary
The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, as part of the Berkshire Transforming Care Partnership (TCP), used an NHS England grant to buy a property that will give local accommodation to people with a learning disability, autism or both and behaviours that can be described as challenging.
“As Berkshire is an expensive part of the country, we have an issue with property values. A person might want to be near their family and it can be very expensive to buy a suitable home,” says David Gratix, Projects Director at Castle Gate Housing who is working with NHS Berkshire.
The TCP applied for an NHS England capital grant which they used to buy and adapt a three bedroom detached house in Berkshire. The building has been adapted to provide three large individual living spaces with shared communal areas.
The people who will be living in the building are currently inpatients in hospital settings. The provider is working closely with colleagues in the NHS and social care to make sure that the accommodation is suitable to their needs. The accommodation will ensure that people can live in their local community and retain family relationships. Without this option, it is likely that they would be placed a long way from home.
Staff from social care, health and the provider worked together to identify the three individuals’ care and accommodation needs. They then worked alongside the project manager, David Gratix, who developed this into an accommodation brief, and used it to work with the housing association to find a suitable property.
In line with NHS England’s housing guidance, Building the Right Home, the tenancy and the care contract are separate – and in this instance the providers of care and housing are also different. The individuals will have their own tenancy agreement which gives them housing rights. This means that one isn’t dependent on the other, and the residents are not restricted in changing their care provider or moving house if they want to.
The challenges that David has faced have been system challenges: “The process of applying for a grant and acquiring a property can be difficult, and being in a buying chain can slow you down.”
One challenge was that the TCP needed a 10% deposit to exchange contracts on the property, but the grant wasn’t due to come through until the sale completed. David arranged for NHS England to make an advance payment which allowed the purchase to go ahead.
For David, getting their housing right is vital to a person’s quality of life: “It’s got to be person-centred. If it’s not suited to that person’s needs their stress levels can rise and they are at risk of ending up back in hospital. That’s why it’s important to be in bespoke accommodation: it’s all about enabling them to live independently in the community.”
The building is in the final stages of being adapted to ensure that it is suitable and safe for the prospective tenants to move in. They are all working with their care teams to prepare for the move.
David Gratix, Projects Director, Castle Gate Housing