Published: Thursday, 21st September 2017
Care and Repair West Norfolk received a commendation in the Handyperson Service of the Year category at this year’s national Home Improvement Agency Awards held at the House of Lords.
The annual Home Improvement Agency Awards, organised by Foundations, celebrates the work of 170 social-value driven organisations throughout England that provide adaptations and other services designed to help disabled and older people live independently in their own homes.
Care and Repair West Norfolk was commended for its innovative partnership work, supporting the hospital-based therapy team with hospital discharge.
As part of the local Better Care Fund/Disabled Facilities Grant Plan, the Clinical Commissioning Group required the Home Improvement Agency to find new ways of joint working with the hospital. This aimed to better support the large number of over 65s living in West Norfolk and ease pressure on already stretched hospital services. Care and Repair now offer a handyperson service working onsite as and when the need arises. This new partnership approach enabled the service to not only highlight the benefits to the hospital and the patient in dealing with the immediate need, but led to multiple referrals for additional minor and major adaptations. It also increased referrals into the agency’s Dementia Friendly Homes scheme and the Ask LILY advice and information service.
Emma Boore, Careline Community Service Manager, responsible for the Handyperson Service at the time, said: “We are delighted that the work of our team has received national recognition. We have needed to adapt to an ageing population and our key focus is working with our partners to enable people to live independently at home for longer. This can often be achieved through simple adaptations in the property and the right support to prevent social isolation. We are proud of what we have achieved and the way we have helped so many people stay in their homes or return from hospital sooner.”
Winners and shortlisted organisations were joined by representatives from the Department for Communities and Local Government, Department of Health and leading charities including HACT, National Energy Action, Independent Age and Age UK at a ceremony in the House of Lords to celebrate their achievements.
Awards host Lord Best said: “Once again, these awards demonstrate the innovative work being undertaken by home improvement agencies across the country.
“They are playing a crucial role in enabling people to live safely in their own homes and in the process are helping to relieve the pressure on health and social care services.”
Paul Smith, director of Foundations, the national body for home improvement agencies, said: “What is particularly inspiring is the way in which HIAs have sought to develop robust and sustainable services to meet local health and care priorities, innovating and collaborating with others to deliver tangible outcomes for their customers.”
Home Improvement Agency and Handyperson Award Winners 2017:
HIA Service of the Year
Joint winner – WE Care & Repair / Dorset Accessible Homes
Highly commended – Lincolnshire HIA
Handyperson Service of the Year
Winner – Revival HIA
Commended: West Norfolk / Middlesbrough
Home Adaptations Service of the Year (sponsored by AKW)
Winner - Cheshire East Care & Repair
Commended: Middlesbrough Staying Put / Walsall HIA
The Innovation Award
Winner - WE Care & Repair
Commended - White Rose HIA / Guildford and Waverley Care & Repair
The Collaboration Award
Winner - Lincolnshire HIA
Commended - Blaby Council / Family Mosaic Kent
HIA Commissioning Award
Winner – Doncaster HIA
Paul Dilley – Carlisle County Council