Shake-up to services for elderly tenants

South Kesteven District Council offices in Grantham
South Kesteven District Council offices in Grantham
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Uncertainty surrounds the future for sheltered housing residents after a council decided to change the way it provides services to them.

Currently South Kesteven District Council provides a range of supported living services to residents in sheltered housing complexes on behalf of Lincolnshire County Council.

This includes on-site wardens and responses to alarms.

But the county council, which controls how the supported living budget is spent, has decided to change the contract for its services from April next year.

The county council hopes to cut bureaucracy by having all its supported living services delivered under the same contract.

Its assistant director of public health Tony McGinty said: “These are important services for people in supported and sheltered housing and we’re working with the district council to ensure a smooth transition so customers will see little disruption.

“In fact the changes will help further improve the services which are currently very restrictive and therefore we want to make these services more fit for purpose and available to all adults who need them – regardless of their type of housing.”

A total of 1,132 residents receive support in South Kesteven. About 660 live in Grantham and the surrounding villages, 280 in Stamford, 125 in Bourne and the rest in Market Deeping, Deeping St James and Thurlby.

The district council’s contract will end on November 1 and an interim provider will be appointed until the new contract begins.

Services across the county are now split into more than 70 different contracts, meaning residents often have to 
deal with several different agencies for a relatively simple task.

The county council also wants to expand its reach and offer supported living services to people who own their own homes or rent privately.

The district council’s head of housing and neighbourhoods Ian Richardson said: “The county council has told us that from April 2014 they want to provide future support services in a more integrated way and to a broader range of people. At the moment the service we provide on behalf of the county council – which includes responding to alarm calls – is largely confined to our older tenants.

“We understand that for the future as well as offering services to more people the county council is developing preventative care and support as part of their wellbeing service.”

One area of concern for residents could be the potential loss of on-site wardens.

The district council currently provides wardens but this arrangement will end once the contract changes.

The county council’s director for public health Dr Tony Hill said it would be a decision for each housing provider if they wanted to continue with wardens.