Better Care Fund and DFG allocations 2016/17
In 2016-17, the Better Care Fund will be increased to a mandated minimum of £3.9 billion to be deployed locally on health and social care through pooled budget arrangements between local authorities and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). Part of the fund is the £394 million allocation for the Disabled Facilities Grant, which is paid directly from the Government to local authorities.
The DFG allocations for 2016/17 have now been announced, download here.
Foundations DFG research
An investigation by Foundations has revealed the impact that government support for home adaptations can have on supporting independent living and delaying a move into residential care.
It shows that those who have had adaptations and later move into care do so some four years later than those who have not had adaptations carried out via DFG.
The Disabled Facilities Grant – the main source of government financial support for adaptations – not only helps people to stay in their own homes for longer, it can also generate substantial financial savings. The average DFG costs less than £7,000 compared with a residential care place costing around £29,000 a year.
Download the report
Carers Strategy - Evidence submission by Foundations
In March 2016 the UK Government launched a call for evidence to support a new Strategy for Carers. This document is Foundations’ response to the call for evidence issued on behalf of the home improvement sector.
Download our response
DFG summit report
In December 2015, Foundations and the College of Occupational Therapists held a DFG summit that brought together Occupational Therapists, HIA managers, Grant Officers, Government officers and leading policy people to discuss good practice in the delivery of the DFG.
The follow-up report is a summary of the main points brought up on the day together with some apposite case studies showing what works well now.
The report calls for:
- The creation of co-located teams of HIA staff and occupational therapists to ensure better communication and create a seamless service for clients around DFG work
- Linking up IT systems within social care and housing so the impact of DFGs on a person’s care needs can be accurately measured
- An increase in maximum grant to take account of inflation – the current limit of £30,000 hasn’t changed for five years. Eligibility criteria should be standardised by either including housing costs or adopting the social care means test
- Using the NHS Number when recording information as recommended by the Better Care Fund. This will allow for a single reference for people at all stages of the process
- Use of a Trusted Assessor approach for simple cases to allow occupational therapists to employ their skills with more complex cases. This will allow simple adaptations to be fast-tracked through the system.
Download the DFG summit report
Evidence of cost benefits
Better outcomes, lower costs: implications for health and social care budgets of investment in housing adaptations, improvement and equipment – a review of the evidence Heywood, FS & Turner, L, (2007) for Office for Disability Issues, Department of Work and Pensions
DFG means test calculator
Please click here to access the DFG Test of Resources
DCLG commissioned/related studies
This is a comprehensive analysis of the delivery of the DFG system setting out options for change and improvement. (Short summary)
Home Adaptations for Disabled People: A detailed guide to related legislation, guidance and good practice (Published 2013, updated 2015)
Published by the Home Adaptations Consortium, this sets out the legislation, guidance and good practice concerning DFG in great detail. Updated to incorporate the Care Act 2014 and related Guidance & Regulations. The last pages include many key references and documents about DFG and adaptations legislation, research and good practice.
Other useful resources
Care Act 2014: Disabled Facilities Grant - A guidance for occupational therapists. This guide developed by the College of OTs aims to assist occupational therapy practitioners, commissioners and others within the health and social care workforce to understand and deliver some of the key concepts and duties within the Act.
English Housing Survey - Adaptations and Accessibility Report, 2014-15 - This report covers the circumstances of households that had a person/s with a long-term limiting illness or disability that required them to have adaptations in their home, including whether these households had the adaptation they require and the suitability of their home.
This briefing from Habinteg explains recent changes to the ways in which DFG funding is being organised. It also presents evidence on the inaccessible nature of much of the existing housing stock, why housing adaptations are therefore so often needed and the vital importance of continued DFG funding to support disabled people to live independently.
Disabled Children: A Legal Handbook is an authoritative yet accessible guide to the legal rights of disabled children and their families in England and Wales. The authors expertly navigate the many, often overlapping, sources of law, explaining the difference between what public bodies must do to support disabled children and that which they may do.
Care & Repair England has also published a Briefing which explains the changes, clarifies responsibilities and highlights opportunities for integration now that the DFG funding is paid to local councils through the Better Care Fund.
Home Adaptations, Integration and the Care Act explains the connections between the Care Act 2014 and the provision of help with home adaptations, particularly DFGs, noting opportunities for integration.
Provision of help home adaptations for disabled people in England briefing July 2015 This briefing gives an overview of the national DFG system of help with home adaptations for those new to the field.
Innovation in home adaptations – a fresh chance This report was produced by Care and Repair England with the support of Public Health England. Its purpose is to explain the new conditions with regard to the Better Care Fund 2016-17, the substantial increase in funding for home adaptations and related opportunities to improve integration and meet performance targets, particularly reducing delayed transfers of care.
Home adaptations: the Care Act 2014 and related provision across the United Kingdom. This briefing from the College of Occupational Therapists outlines the effect of the Care Act 2014 on the provision of home adaptations for adults in England. It also outlines broadly the comparable position, under different legislation, for adults in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.