As the UK continues to see an ageing population where appropriate housing solutions are scarce and high quality advice and information about these is limited, Manchester Move and Northwards Housing are pleased to present this report about the work that has taken place in North Manchester over the past 12 months.
The Manchester Move relationship with FirstStop began in early 2015 as the service was beginning to look at how it could provide better quality advice and information to older people. Through work with the Housing for an Age Friendly Manchester Board and funding via the Housing Revenue Account and the North Manchester Clinical Commissioning Group the first Housing and Care Options advisor post was established in North Manchester in April 2015. Over the first year of the service savings to health and social care services have been conservatively estimated to be in the region of £1m for a £40k investment and funding has been secured for a further year solely from the North CCG. Over 250 people have received bespoke housing options advice and 64 people have moved into a home that better meets their health and care needs so they can continue to age well and live independently. Many people now have less need to use these services as they feel more confident in their home environment and less isolated in a home that was not meeting their needs in later life. The service has worked with people aged from 50 – 95 and has taken referrals from a wide range of health and social care professionals. Both the individual people and the professionals have valued having a service that can provide the missing link – good quality and practical housing advice (whether to move or stay put) alongside looking at care needs and signposting to financial advice where necessary.
The partnership with FirstStop is crucial if the service is to continue to meets these needs. Their comprehensive website and telephone/live chat service can provide advice that people need to start to think about their choices in later life and the locally based Housing and Care Options Advisor has changed the lives of many people over the past 12 months as the case studies at the end of this report show.
The above is the summary of the Evaluation of FirstStop Manchester, authored by Anne Duffield of Northwards Housing.