Report reviews housing with care programme

January 7, 2021

A report commissioned by The Department of Health and Social Care has evaluated The Care and Support Specialised Housing (CASSH) programme.

The Care and Support Specialised Housing Fund (CASSH) is a Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) programme to ‘support and accelerate the development of specialist affordable housing which meets the needs of older people and adults with disabilities or mental health problems’. The programme provides capital funding to build new specialised housing in England for older people and disabled adults with care and support needs. It is implemented by the Greater London Authority and Homes England (referred to in the report as 'implementation bodies’) on behalf of DHSC.

The report suggests that housing-with-care is another viable and valuable option for older people, along with other care services such as care homes and homecare.

The research was conducted by The Kings Fund and The University of York at the request of the Department of Health and Social Care. The research included an extensive review of available evidence and research on the health and social care value of the new generation of retirement housing (known as housing-with-care), alongside a study of the Government’s capital funding system for housing association and local authority provision.

According to the Associated Retirement Community Operators (ARCO), The Department of Health and Social care should now be looking at not just how social care is funded but also how it is provided.  ARCO say that the past year has seen a significant growth in support for the new generation of retirement housing known as housing-with-care (often referred to as extra care or retirement villages).

The report outlines the following systemic benefits of the CASSH programme:

  • Reduced visits to GPs.
  • Reductions in use of community nursing services.
  • Reduction in length of hospital stays.
  • Reductions in hospital admissions.
  • Reduced ambulance and emergency call outs.
  • Reductions in care and care equipment costs.
  • Reduced likelihood of entering a care home or other long-term care.

The report also suggests the following individual benefits to older people:

  • More exercise, fitness and independence.
  • Better perceived health.
  • Reductions in falls.
  • Reduced frailty.
  • Increased life expectancy.
  • Lower levels of depression, loneliness, isolation and anxiety.
  • Improvements in memory and mental function.
  • Improved sense of community and wellbeing.
  • Reduced cognitive decline.
  • Better contact levels with friends and family.
  • Improved confidence in self-managing health.
  • More of a sense of control for residents.

Michael Voges, Executive Director of ARCO, said, ‘There is now an overwhelming, comprehensive and conclusive body of proof that the housing-with-care model can play a vital role in supporting our health and social care systems and in keeping older people healthy, independent and well for longer.

‘The implications of this authoritative study are clear – the Government must now act to remove the barriers to growth for this key sector.

‘Recent events have proved just how important social care is – now is the time for the Government to make a clear statement of its intentions to provide more choice, better housing and different forms of care as part of a brighter future for hundreds of thousands more older people.’

To read the report in full, visit The University of York website.


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