SFHA report makes recommendations for future of housing with care and support

Sally Thomas

The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) has released a new paper on housing with care and support provided by housing associations.

Housing Scotland: Models of housing with care and support sets out existing successful community models as well as key learning from housing associations’ experiences of delivering care and support during the coronavirus pandemic.  

The paper makes recommendations for delivering housing with care and support in the future in order to respond to issues highlighted by the pandemic but also longer-term priorities such as the Review of Adult Social Care. 

The paper sets out a framework for future models of housing with care and support that recommends community and person-centred solutions that help to prevent hospital stays, enable independent living and reduce the need for care in clinical settings. The framework also calls for adaptable solutions that allow people to live their lives to the fullest and recommends investment in learning, developing, testing and scaling up of new approaches. 

Research has shown that housing with care and support provided by housing associations reduces costs for the government compared to other long-term care options.

It also supports the NHS by helping people to return home from hospital, reduces pressure on primary care services as customers require fewer GP visits, reduces the risk of hospitalisation as staff respond to early signs of ill health, and supports end of life care through working closely with health professionals and relatives. 

Ahead of next year’s Scottish Parliament election, SFHA is calling on the next Scottish Government to deliver a programme that will create new models of housing with care and support, specifically designed to prevent the need for hospital care, which align with health and housing budgets, and include digital and technology solutions. 

Sally Thomas, SFHA chief executive, said: “Housing support and care services are vital for ensuring the health, safety, wellbeing, quality of life and independence of thousands of social housing tenants across Scotland – and this has never been clearer than during the coronavirus crisis. 

“However, as we look towards recovery from the pandemic and future housing needs, it is clear that we must do even more to keep vulnerable people safe, with improved connectivity, joined up commissioning, and the right preventative services in local communities. We are ready to work with our members, the Scottish Government and partners in health and care in order to do this.” 

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