Home Adaptations ‘Could Save Councils Money’
The District Councils’ Network (DCN) has called for councils to be able to raise money towards prevention measures through a two per cent precept on council tax in a bid to reduce social care bills.
LocalGov revealed that spending this money on options like home adaptations for the elderly could help alleviate some of the strain on the UK’s stretched health and social care services.
According to the DCN, by adapting 100,000 homes to meet the needs of the elderly, districts could save the NHS £69 for every pound they spend on the modifications.
This could include installing shower seating, bath lifts or anti-slip flooring to help reduce the risk of falls. Councillor John Fuller, DCN chairman, explained that a number of things could make a difference to reducing the number of people entering the social care system.
Fall prevention is one, but so too is improving home insulation and heating, as well as wider access to leisure and recreation services.
He stressed that district councils need to be given the resources to cover the cost of these kinds of preventative measures “if we are to reduce pressures on the NHS and stop people from entering the social care system unnecessarily”.
Last month, a survey of 101 MPs by Independent Age found that 90 per cent believe the current social care system in the UK is not fit for purpose. A cross-party consensus is required if the country is to tackle these issues and work towards a long-term solution, the charity suggested.