Welsh Government
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£2 million to help older people out of hospital

A scheme to carry out minor but vital adaptations to older people’s homes to prevent hospital admission or enable them to be discharged from hospital quicker has been awarded over £2m for the next financial year, Huw Lewis, Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage announced recently.

The Rapid Response Adaptations Programme (RRAP) allows equipment such as ramps, handrails, safety alarms and door entry systems to be fitted in people’s homes quickly so that their hospital discharges are not delayed and future admissions can be avoided. The scheme is administered and monitored by Care and Repair Cymru and delivered by Care and Repair agencies.

The Minister said,

"This programme provides a valuable service that allows older people across Wales to get back to familiar surroundings more quickly and to continue living safely and independently in their own homes for as long as possible. Simple adaptations to a person's home, such as adding grab rails or levelling paths, can have a huge impact on their quality of life.

“Without this funding, it is inevitable that older people will spend longer in hospital or even have to move into care. Not only would this be very costly to the tax payer, but more importantly it would have a detrimental effect on their emotional wellbeing.  Care & Repair provide small, but sometimes essential alterations to people's homes to achieve that. Through this investment more people can be supported to stay at home, where most people would wish to be."

The funding has been maintained at the same level as last year, despite cuts to the overall housing budget, to minimise the effect to front line services where the greatest impact on the quality of lives of older people lay. This investment results in big savings in other budget areas such as the NHS and Social Services by preventing admission to hospital as a result of accidents in the home or illness due to unsuitable living conditions.

For every £1 spent on the RRAP, £7.50 is saved from the NHS and social services budgets by preventing hospital admission or speeding up hospital discharge – as a result of this, the funding has been maintained at the same level as last year, despite cuts to the overall housing budget. Nearly 14,000 RRAP jobs were completed in 2010 - 2011, of which over 9,500 prevented hospital admission and 4,500 enabled hospital discharge. The jobs were completed on average in 7 working days.

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