The Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT) has welcomed the government’s commitment to accelerate the delivery of home adaptations by improving local delivery of the Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG).
The commitment came with the publication of the government’s newly published National Disability Strategy.
Writing for the RCOT, professional advisor, Lauren Walker, said that although “light on detail” the move came as “welcome news”.
Lauren noted there were around 1 million households in England lacking all the adaptations they need with over 400,000 wheelchair users living in homes that were neither accessible or adapted.
The RCOT advisor also noted that around two-thirds of DFG applications were for people aged 60 and over with more than 90% of older people living in mainstream housing.
Lauren said: “As the government develop their plans to bring about improvements to the DFG process, they will need to consider the impact that COVID-19 has had upon demand for adaptations services, and the implications for the capacity and wellbeing of the adaptations workforce, including occupational therapists.”
The advisor highlighted the RCOT’s Adaptations Without Delay report as a vital tool in helping services to reframe their processes to benefit their clients and workforce alike.
The report provides a practical framework to increase the efficiency of the adaptations process by making best use of the available workforce and giving increased agency to the individual requiring adaptations.