Kent County Council today launches an innovative approach to accommodation with care to provide for the county’s older and vulnerable population now and into the future.
Housing industry insiders have praised Kent’s ‘impressive’ new Accommodation Strategy Better Homes: Greater Choice and called on the sector to take note of the county’s bold plans.
The new strategy, developed with key partners, promises to deliver accommodation which offers choice, quality, independence and access to the right care at the right time.
Jeremy Porteus, Director of the Housing Learning and Improvement Network, endorsed Kent’s approach, saying: “This impressive strategy captures the foresight and demonstrates the commitment to improve the housing choices for older people in Kent. Shaped by the views and experiences of older people and supported by robust market intelligence, it is an excellent example of putting housing for older people on the map.”
The strategy is central to the county’s radical reshaping of its health, housing and social care system which aims to change the way services are delivered, focussing on integrated, community-based services which support people to stay in their own homes as long as possible.
The strategy will inform providers about where and what investment is needed so they can best target resources to make sure Kent’s elderly and vulnerable population can live as independently as possible in their communities.
Kent County Council Leader Paul Carter said: “We need to act now if we are to meet properly the needs of our vulnerable residents and support them to lead as active and healthy lives as possible. Good health and well-being is not just about delivering the right sort of health and social care, it is about providing suitable, quality housing that supports an individual’s needs.
“This strategy clearly sets out our vision for Kent and it has been developed with the support of many organisations with responsibility for delivering this vision. To succeed, substantial private sector investment will be needed alongside the co-operation of district councils, housing associations and health partnerships. If we get this right, this is an opportunity to deliver first class community health, housing and social care services to all.”
The Accommodation Strategy is unique in setting out a Kent-wide position which brings together the aims of Districts, Boroughs and the County Council, Clinical Commissioning Groups and other key stakeholders, encouraging an integrated approach to all opportunities.
The Accommodation Strategy outlines for each of the adult social care client groups how the demand and aspiration for housing, care and support will be met and how KCC will work positively with all providers in the market to ensure that Kent has ‘suitable, appropriate and attractive’ housing to meet the current and future demands.
Central to this is the need for a dramatic increase in extra care housing, and residential and nursing care particularly focussing on services and design for people with dementia. It also demands flexible and responsive services for the provision of enablement and observation/assessment beds, which may support people to stay independent in their own homes for longer.
To read the strategy in full, visit www.kent.gov.uk/accommodationstrategy.