Wirral Council has been awarded more than £4.1million to provide grants for people with a permanent disability of any sort.

Issued by The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the grants are to help towards making changes or adaptations to a home to allow the person to continue living there and will be awarded to individuals with physical and learning disabilities, sensory impairments and mental illness.

Wirral has been awarded the funding through the Government’s Better Care Fund Allocation to ensure households needing assistance can remain in their homes for longer through a wide range of interventions.

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Cllr Stuart Whittingham, Wirral Council Cabinet Member Housing and Planning, said: “Last year, the council’s Aids and Adaptations team worked with colleagues in the NHS and across adult social care and children’s services to deliver more than 2750 major adaptations to the homes of Wirral families.”

The bespoke adaptations included extended or redesigned living accommodation alongside the installation of stair lifts, ramps, ceiling track hoists, level access showers, handrails and other specialist equipment to enable individuals to regain a level of independence within their own homes and prevent them from falling.

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Cllr Whittingham said: “Last year our teams exceeded our adaptations target and this year they plan to do the same. This funding will be transformative for many in Wirral, increasing independence, confidence and safety of the people who will benefit from it.”

To achieve the Better Care Fund’s (BCF) objectives of improved health outcomes, Councils are encouraged to become flexible in their delivery of home adaptations.

Wirral Council’s Home Adaptation Grant (HAG) was introduced as an innovative scheme in 2019. It is a local scheme with flexibility to remove the requirement for a means-test for the lower cost adaptation scheme.

The introduction of a fast-tracked referral and application process has significantly reduced delivery times for key adaptations - contributing to a reduction in levels of non-elective admission and readmission to hospital due to falls.

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Despite the restrictions of Covid-19, which has meant new ways of working needed to be established, the home adaptations team continue to work on the front line to ensure this vital service is maintained.

Cllr Whittingham said: “During lockdown, residents continued to receive these life-altering adaptations in their homes and be discharged from hospital in some cases, as the necessary adaptations meant they could live safely in their own homes.

“The adaptations, in allowing people to remain in the communities for longer, hope to reduce social isolation. Reducing isolation and increasing community cohesion has been a key priority of our work in Wirral for a number of years, but it’s taken centre stage in recent months during - and post - the Coronavirus lockdown, where social isolation has been a key factor.”

One recipient of the scheme from Meols, who prefers to remain anonymous, said: “The whole thing was great from beginning to end, it all went like clockwork. They did everything they said they would do and on time, it's made a tremendous difference. I can now use the back door as my main door which I really need, I feel a lot safer.”

Another resident, from Spital, said: “In the flash of an eye I had grabrails so now I don’t fall… I’d give the service a 10 out of 10.”

The further funding injection will allow hundreds of Wirral residents to benefit from major and minor home adaptations.

To request a telephone consultation to check yours or a loved one’s eligibility, email: homeadaptationsteam@wirral.gov.uk or you can fill out a self-assessment form on the link below: