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Current Landscape

Safe As House's Scotland Team provide solutions for a range of specialisms within the care sector, each very different to the other...

Current Landscape

+ Adult's Complex Needs

Adults with complex needs are people who require a high level of support with a variety of aspects of their day-to-day lives, relying on a range of health and social care services. This may be because of illness, disability, broader life circumstances, or a combination. Depending on each person's needs, a different amount of support may be needed. The people being discussed may have a variety of support conditions, such as acquired brain injury, a learning disability, autism spectrum disorder, challenging behaviours, or mental health issues.

Residential Care for Adults with Complex Needs:

Residential services provide care around the clock in an environment or building that is shared with other service users. This often offers a mix of self-contained apartments/bedrooms, with en-suites and communal areas; this allows service users the privacy of their own space and the opportunity to mix with other service users to develop relationships and build on their confidence in social environments. Ultimately, the individual's needs will drive the environment they will be housed in, and the makeup of the development will be tailored to those living there.

Learning Disability, Autism, or Transforming Care:

Learning Disability/Autism or the Transforming Care Agenda supports people who have challenging behaviours due to a learning impairment and/or autism spectrum disorder. Currently placed outside of their allocated area of residency, these individuals are moving from inpatient care settings to community-based services. This is partly due to a major lack of fit-for-purpose, specialist-supported living environments to support the needs of the most challenging individuals in the country, resulting in ‘bed blocking’. Thus, the need for robust, future-proof residential or step-down services to provide a pathway to supported living. Each service will have six beds, which is a CQC requirement following the Right Care, Right Support, and Right Culture guidance to pass registration. 

+ Children's Services

As care leavers transition into adulthood and independence, they are likely to need more support than they will get from their ‘corporate parents’, compared to other young people who get support from their birth parents. Many young people who are leaving care are faced with financial barriers. For example, a young care leaver who is single, childless, and living in self-contained private rented accommodation and claiming Housing Benefit will find that, from the age of 22, their benefit payments are likely to reduce to the level of the Shared Accommodation Rate. 

The limited access to financial means also directly impacts the quality of housing, young care leavers have access to. Privately rented properties, for instance, can vary tremendously in quality and are often below Ofsted standards. While social housing would be a great and affordable alternative to privately rented properties, it also comes with its own hurdles, such as long waiting lists. Unfortunately, the level of priority given to care leavers on social housing waiting lists also varies significantly from area to area, making it more difficult for young care leavers to transition into adulthood and independence.

+ Elderly & Extra Care

With people living longer than ever, the need to support the ageing population is an ever-growing task. However, is the UK keeping up with the demand? Between 2017 and 2040 in England alone, the number of people aged over 85 (who are most likely to need health care services) is estimated to rise nearly double its current demographic of 1.4 million to 2.7 million.

It is projected that by 2040, the number of elderly people who identify with a disability will increase by 67% to 5.9 million. Additionally, whether it is publicly or privately funded, the number of older people in need of care and support will increase to nearly 1.2 million by 2046. As a result, the capacity for privately funded care needs to rise by 87% and for socially funded care to increase by 67% by 2040 to accommodate the projected demand.

However, despite the increase in demand, recent years have shown there has been a reduction in the provision of beds and high-quality accommodations that reflect best practises, especially when supporting people with dementia. The population that is aged between 90 and over in the UK has increased by more than two and a half times in the last 30 years, reaching 609,503 in mid-2020. Therefore, at present, there is a catastrophic undersupply of fit-for-purpose specialist housing, which needs to be overcome.

With the shortage of high-quality, fit-for-purpose housing in the Elderly Care Sector, more and more areas lack the necessary emergency, resulting in short-term accommodation and bed-blocking in hospitals reaching an all-time high. The truth is that extended stays in hospitals for older people are far from ideal, causing untold damage both mentally and physically, with many seeing a direct decrease in mobility after extended hospitalisation due to the limiting environment that it offers. The mental impact can lead to a loss of independence and purpose.

In 2016, Jonny Marshall, on behalf of The Guardian, commented on the ever-growing complex relationship between rising demand on the NHS and social care finance (especially for the elderly sector) and funding restraints, which ultimately leads to increased pleasure on the sector and transfer out of hospitals. Marshall quickly states that ‘year on year, these delays are rising, with more people staying in hospitals when they don’t need to be there’, something that has become more prevalent in recent years. These individuals (often older people) are wrongly described as "bed blockers", which Marshall is eager to correct and goes as far as to state that "the system has failed to move quickly enough to put together the right package of care". The reality is that the term "bed blocker" insinuates the individual is the issue; however, the UK isn’t meeting the demand for fit-for-purpose accommodation to support the elderly in finding a place to call home, and one that is near their loved ones and/or community.

Although many elderly homes are being developed, Knight Frank reported that "in the 2019–20 financial year, a total of 7,058 beds (122 homes) were newly registered, and 6,789 (233 homes) were de-registered. The main reasons for closure are failing care standards and financial stress, the latter brought about by increasing staff costs and funding challenges. The current level of home closures is heightening the need for new homes to replace those lost".

So, with the combination of people living longer, the increasing demand for further elderly accommodation, and restricted public funding, where does the UK go from here? Knight Frank closed their report and identifies that private funding from investors is currently driving much of the current new development in the UK, which certainly helps to create more fit-for-purpose accommodation, but will it be sustainable and affordable? Click the next article to read more.

+Homeless & Affordable Housing

Affordable Housing is nothing new. The need for Affordable Housing grows year after year, and with a lack of collaborative approach from many of the decision-makers, it is a topic that will remain at the forefront of property for many years to come.

There are many reasons why property has become unattainable for many in society, and at Safe As Houses, we’re here to look for solutions for what can be an extremely difficult issue. With decades of undersupply, a growing population, and a cost of living crisis, finding somewhere to call home has rarely been more difficult.

Affordable Housing can provide a solution that goes beyond just providing someone with a home. It creates stability, security, and community where there was none, and allows people to move on with their lives. Many people waiting for affordable housing, are currently in Temporary Accommodation, an expensive solution to a long-term problem and one that, with the correct investment and strategy, would allow Local Authorities to free up, or divert this investment into a longer-term, more sustainable solution.

There has never been more pressure on Local Authorities to provide accommodation, and this, coupled with a shortfall in properties, a lack of buildings, and a merry-go-round of Housing Ministers makes any kind of planning extremely difficult.

+ Supported Living

Many of Safe as House’s projects to date have been in the Supported Living space, providing a platform and an established process to build on. The market opportunity is significant, with a requirement for over 600,000 units and an estimated investment value of £130 billion. 

It is clear that the full potential of the sector will only be unlocked if Nominations and Voids Agreements can be achieved or if leases can be put in place directly with Local Authorities or the NHS. 

Nominations: 

LA/NHS involved will have the rights over rooms and/or apartments. They will assess the individuals. 

Voids: 

LA/NHS can ensure rooms and/or apartments stay available for them to commission into, so they will pay for the room or apartment if it ever becomes empty.

The quality and strength of our relationships with sector stakeholders, including Care Commissioners, Registered Providers and Care Providers are critical to our success. We have established relationships with a number of these already and are continually targeting more partners.


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