Demand remains strong for Aberdeenshire Care and Repair Service

Demand for Care and Repair services remains strong and the service is well positioned for the integration of health and social care according to a new report to Social Work and Housing Committee.

Aberdeenshire Care and Repair Service provides adaptation grants, small repairs service and information and advice to homeowners and private tenants in Aberdeenshire who are over 60 and /or disabled.

It was established in 1997 and was funded by Aberdeenshire Council but managed by Castlehill Housing Association. In 2015 Aberdeenshire Council decided to take the service in-house.

In the first six months of 2016/17 the Care and Repair team assisted 353 clients with major adaptations. There were 108 grants completed which included 117 different adaptations to properties.

In a satisfaction survey 99% of people who received small repairs said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the service and 97% with the standard of work.

Chair of Social Work and Housing Committee Cllr Anne Allan congratulated the service on its performance so far: “As we can see there is no shortage of demand for the service and if anything has increased since the committee agreed to the service being delivered in-house. The service has continued to be delivered to a high standard and I congratulate everyone involved.

“I have sought assurances from the service that the fundraising assistant post will be filled as soon as possible. Fundraising is undertaken for those on low income and the assistant post has been invaluable in providing support. Care and Repair successfully raised £4,460 to help five clients and work is ongoing to support another 16.”

As well as providing advice and support the Care and Repair Service offer an income maximisation check for everyone who applies for a disabled adaptation grant, to make sure they are receiving the full amount of benefits they are entitled to. In the first six months of 2016 the service helped 66 clients claim an extra £27,529 a year in total.

The service continues to make improvements with the intention of streamlining the process for clients and creating efficiencies within the team. A pilot to provide a dedicated occupational therapist dealing specifically with major adaptations is currently underway in south Aberdeenshire.  The main benefit being that the specialist knowledge of detailed procedures means the client’s expectations are well managed and not raised.

Vice Chair of Aberdeenshire Council’s Social Work and Housing Committee, Cllr Raymond Christie said: “The Care and Repair service continues to provide an excellent service since it was taken in-house. The demand shows no sign of reducing which shows how valuable the service is to some of the most vulnerable people in Aberdeenshire. The new Communities committee and IJB will continue to receive regular updates on the service.”