UK Government

Department of Health: Helping hand for care and support housing

Press Release   •   Feb 25, 2010 09:56 GMT

Older people needing care and support will benefit from new and refreshed local housing strategies that promote dignity, respect and choice, Care Services Minister Phil Hope said today.

Speaking at a Laing and Buisson conference, he announced a £3.5 million innovation fund and urged councils to “act now and act decisively” to improve the quality and range of housing options for older people.

Every Council with Adult Social Care responsibility will be awarded approximately £20,000 to develop or update its extra care housing strategy. Councils will be expected to showcase their strategies, promote good practice and exchange ideas on innovative approaches to housing with care on a new on-line web-resource.

Extra Care Housing provides the best housing design features for older people alongside personal care. The Department has invested £227 million in Extra Care housing since 2004. However, there are still approximately 38,000 units of accommodation compared to 10 times that for retirement housing and also residential care

Care Services Minister Phil Hope, said,

“Innovative houses that meet the needs and aspirations of older people are vital to the future of care and support. They are at the heart of the technological change that will define our ageing society, enable more people to live well and live independently in their own home for longer.

I am launching this new fund to help councils develop the next generation of homes Now I want to see councils act now and act decisively to improve the quality and range of housing options for older people.

It is another example of how we’re helping more people to live well in their own homes, supporting our Personal Care at Home Bill, which will offer free care for 280,000 people with highest needs and help thousands more who are receiving home help for the first time.”

Notes to editors

Key stats

  • We are an ageing society. For the first time ever there are more people over the age 65 than there are under the age of 18.
  • There are currently around four people under the age of 65 to every one person above that age. By 2029, this ratio will fall to three to one, and by 2059 it will become two to one.
  • Approximately 1.26 million adults receive local authority-funded social care now. Over 1.7 million more adults are expected to need care and support in 20 years’ time
  • A fifth of the population of England is over 60, and older people make up the largest single group of patients using the NHS
  • Older people in the UK use three and a half times the amount of hospital care of those aged under 65, and almost two-thirds of general and acute hospital beds are in use by people over 65
  • Older people currently account for nearly 60% of the £16.1 billion gross current social care expenditure by local authorities, and despite a recent downward trend, those aged over 65 still account for approximately 40% of all hospital bed days, with 65% of NHS spend being on those aged over 65
  • Injury due to falls is the leading cause of mortality in older people aged over 75 in the  UK

About Extra Care Housing

  • In total, the Government is providing £456m of funding for ECH between 2004 and 2010 - £227m from the Department of Health and £229m from the Homes and Communities Agency (formerly the Housing Corporation).
  • The £3.5million innovation fund for extra housing will be funded from the 2008/2010 Extra Care Housing Fund
  • A new on-line directory of all the Extra Care schemes developed to date is also being developed by the Department of Health. It will hold architects’ plans, key design features and scheme information to help encourage further practice development and innovation in the sector.
  • Extra Care Housing recognised as a valuable contribution in the government’s National Housing Strategy for an Ageing Society, Lifetime Homes, Lifetime Neighbourhoods

Further to the national strategy, the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department of Health commissioned the Homes and Communities Agency to look into the future design requirements for housing for an ageing population. The resultant Housing our Ageing Population: Panel for Innovation (HAPPI) report, which identified the top 10 components for the future design of housing for older people.


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