Making sure children and adults can move out of hospitals into their own homes requires a lot of person centred planning including about where they will live. Local Areas may not know about or feel they have the skills to use capital funding from the Transforming Care Programme. Bristol has utilised £1.2million of NHS England’s Transforming Care capital grant funding over 2 years. This is proportionate to its local population and current admissions.
Two properties were purchased for two young people requiring sole accommodation in order to get them out of hospital. Both were under 18 when bids were made. In 2016 Bristol City Council also received funding for assistive technology from NHS England. Both turned 18 when they moved in so both had their own tenancies. Both were eligible for funding under Section 117 of the Mental Health Act which gives some people who've been kept in hospital under the Act the right to free care and support after leaving hospital.
Using NHS England’s capital grant funding enables services to source suitable property to meet individual needs of young people. It also enables a level of specificity and provides security of tenancy for the young people and the service. It enables planning for needs that does not require a young person to fit within existing stock that may not be suitable or meet needs and may increase the risk of readmission. It creates and enhances local partnerships between Local Authorities, Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), housing and care providers
A good housing partner eases the way as Local Authorities may not want to take on property management. Our housing partner had previous experience and was extremely helpful. Good support from the CCG and particularly finance colleagues is also necessary. It is essential to be clear about who you want to discharge and be clear about what they need and where they would be best located (facilitated life planning may help this process to ensure it is genuinely person centred).
The CCG has to commit to some funding to support process, legal fees and building works. Time and effort may be required to make this work, outside of the usual workload. Timescales are often tight between Expression of Interest and Project Initiation Document submission to NHS England and communication can, at times, be frustrating and confusing.
Benefits for the young person
Bespoke accommodation can be provided which should meet the needs of the young person well and provide space for the care provider. In these two cases, one young person required spacious accommodation that would not have been available in the usual process; and the other young person is living in his preferred location close to family and support, doing well and was able to move his cat in. Finally, if the care provider withdraws or changes in the future the young person will remain in their accommodation.
Jane Guvenir, Continuing Health Care Manager and Designated Clinical Officer, NHS Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group (BNSSG CCG)
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org