People waiting months before accessing DFG cash for mobility purchases

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Anglesey council in North Wales is the most recent local authority to be criticised for reportedly failing to provide DFG money to people in good time.

A council scrutiny committee has claimed that the authority takes 221.7 days on average to issue the grants, meaning that many disabled people are having to wait in excess of six months before they can make equipment purchases through the grant.

Anglesey council has set itself a target of 200 days to make the grants. It claims that its current average is similar to most of the other authorities in Wales.

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Speaking to a local newspaper, Mark Isherwood, Welsh Conservative health spokesperson, said that the whole point of Disabled Facilities Grants is to help people be safe and independent and stay in their own homes.

“It is therefore concerning that the council is taking so long to deliver these grants and missing its target to boot, causing disabled people to suffer delay and compounding the risk and cost for them, their carers and the services on which they depend,” he told the Daily Post.

But the authority has reduced the average waiting time for the grant from 238 to 221.7 over the last year.

A spokesperson for the council said working through grant applications is time-consuming.

“Disabled Facilities Grants often require significant adaptations to support a person to remain independent, which may involve structural adaptations within properties,” the council said.

“Adaptations will sometimes involve planning approval processes and, as a result, the target set reflects the complexity of the process involved to deliver successful adaptations.

“Both housing and social services acknowledge that the process requires a review of processes, with a view of reducing the time taken to deliver a grant.

“The council is reviewing current procedures and will be making changes to both the approval and commissioning process to improve performance, and intend to establish a working group to oversee the performance.

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