Celebrating supported housing - A blog by Tracey Lees (CEO) | News

Celebrating supported housing - A blog by Tracey Lees (CEO)

Today is #StartsAtHome day and in the last few months, I have been to visit our eight supported housing schemes in the London Borough of Merton, which provide homes to people with learning disabilities.

Tracey Lees (CEO) holding the #StartsAtHome placard

Tracey Lees (CEO) holding the #StartsAtHome placard

Merton are currently reviewing their supported housing provision across all needs groups, and all providers in the borough. It’s important that provision of services matches needs, and is as flexible as possible, to help people live as independent a life as possible.

The eight Wandle schemes in Merton, and the support provided, varies widely according to need - for example in one of the schemes residents live quite independently in their own studio flats with low levels of support,  and another is a registered care home where residents have 24-hour care and support, provided by the adult social care department at the London Borough of Merton. The remaining supported housing schemes all provide a home and support in-between the two.

During the visits, I was joined by Christine Addy (Neighbourhood Officer, Wandle) and Hannah Doody (Strategic Director of Community Services, London Borough of Merton).

What did I learn?

  • The schemes and services are in good shape (there is always scope for improvements, which Breyer our new contractor will do). They are well managed and provide a good quality, safe home to some very vulnerable residents. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) recently inspected our residential care home and it was assessed as good.
     
  • We work together in partnership every day to provide support to our residents. There is some excellent partnership working with Christine leading for Wandle and with a number of London Borough of Merton Council staff, plus agencies who specialise in providing care and support to people with a learning disability. Every partner acts in the best interests of each person.
     
  • The services are customised to meet the individual needs of every person living there. Residents are happy with their homes and the care and support they receive, Wandle and council staff understand their needs and are committed to meeting them.
     
  • Some of the services and schemes need reviewing. What is the right home for someone today, might not be in ten years’ time. Some residents might be able to live in general needs flats, with floating support – others might need additional care. The important thing is not creating dependency and to support people to live as independently as they can. 

Whilst these homes form a relatively small proportion (around 50) of our total homes, they make a huge contribution to the lives of the people who live there. Christine is doing an excellent job and is supported by colleagues across Wandle.

Starts At Home Day is a day when housing associations up and down the country celebrate supported housing and the positive impact it makes on thousands of lives. Starts At Home day takes place on Friday 30 August 2019. Follow the hashtag #StartsAtHome across social media to keep up with the day of action and check out our content on Twitter @WandleHA.

Tracey Lees
Chief Executive Officer, Wandle