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RCOT launches Adaptations Without Delay Guidance

The overall aim of the guide is to reduce delays in the delivery of adaptations by providing tools that support a proportionate response.

The Royal College of Occupational therapists (RCOT) has launched a new guide, Adaptations Without Delay which will help speed up the process of delivering adaptations to people’s homes.

Adaptations play a crucial role in prevention and improving health and wellbeing for older and disabled adults and children, and, in consequence, the sooner they are installed, the greater the benefit.

The overall aim of the guide is to reduce delays in the delivery of adaptations by providing tools that support a proportionate response. The guide contains a decision-making framework that outlines new ways of working that includes the different levels of complexity of a situation and the most appropriate response. It also helps stakeholders identify the circumstances when an assessment is not required by an occupational therapist.

It is intended to be used by practitioners and organisations across the UK who may be contacted by disabled and older people and their families who are seeking advice or support with home adaptations. It will also assist social care and housing managers as to how adaptations can best be provided locally.

The Housing Lin was commissioned to produce the guide, which was developed with a steering group of experts, following consultation across the UK.

The guide has been endorsed by several expert bodies from across the UK, including the Chartered Institute of Housing, Foundations, Care and Repair in England and Wales, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, and Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations.

Rather than providing a fixed range of minor adaptations, the guide will help housing providers consider how to provide a wider range of adaptations to their tenants without the direct involvement of an occupational therapist.

Julia Skelton, Director of Professional Operations at the Royal College of Occupational Therapists said: “Adaptations play a crucial role in prevention and need to be delivered in a timely manner.

“It’s clear that a radically different approach to addressing the delays in the assessment and delivery of adaptations is required.

“Occupational therapists have a crucial role to play in adaptations – taking a collaborative approach to assessment, design, and delivery that is based on the complexity of the situation rather than the type and cost. 

“The guide should assist all those involved in delivering adaptations to ensure a proportionate response that makes the best use of the skill mix within the workforce for timely delivery.”

Zhan McIntyre, SFHA Policy Lead, said: “This piece of guidance marks a watershed moment in terms of how people in need of adaptations receive the help and assistance they need to live safely and independently. 

“Providing a common point of reference and framework for all partners,  social landlords will find this guidance of tremendous help in meeting customer needs.”

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