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Consultation on draft new guidance to local authorities, to help them improve the planning of community care housin...
Consultation on draft new guidance to local authorities, to help them improve the planning of community care housing and support in Scotland has been announced.

Scottish housing minister Malcolm Chisholm said:

'Community care users living at home need both housing and

support services. Local authorities and health boards must know what

these needs are, before they can plan to provide the homes and support

which people need.

'We are now consulting on new guidance on how to estimate

housing and community care needs. It will replace 1991 guidance

which is out of date, ignores most community care client groups, and

makes no explicit reference to support services.

'The new guidance covers both support and housing needs, and

more client groups. I hope it will help housing, social work and health agencies to work together in meeting people's needs for housing and community care.'

The new guidelines are based on research undertaken on behalf of The Scottish Office by Heriot Watt University.


1. The draft guidance is based on research commissioned by The

Scottish Office from Heriot Watt University and published in October

1996, which evaluated the 'prevalence' method of estimating housing

and support needs for community care client groups. The method had

been developed over the last few years by Smart and Titterton.

2. In the prevalence method, an estimate is made of the prevalence

rate for a community care group, for example 20 people with learning

disabilities per 1,000 people aged 16-64, and this is then divided into dependency sub groups with severe, moderate and low support needs.

The dependency sub groups are then matched with the relevant range

of housing and support solutions, for example housing with intensive

support for those with severe learning difficulties. The number of units of housing and support required in an area is calculated from the subgroup prevalence rates and local population figures, after making any necessary adjustments for such factors as household composition.

While the method is not reliable for small populations, it can be used to set overall priorities and draw up plans at the strategic level.

3. At present the only Scottish Office guidelines for community

care housing are those issued in 1991 for elderly people, and physically disabled people, in terms of types of housing only eg standard sheltered housing. The new guidance will cover not just elderly and disabled people; but also those with learning disabilities, those with multiple disabilities (ie both learning and physical disabilities) and those with mental health problems. Since the guidance covers both housing and support services, it is relevant to both housing and community care plans, and will therefore help to promote interagency discussion between health, social work and housing agencies.

4. The draft guidance is being sent to all local authorities (housing

and social work) and health boards. It is also being sent to national

statutory, voluntary and private provider organisations with an interest in housing and community care, including COSLA, Scottish Homes, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, the Chartered

Institute of Housing, the Scottish Council of Voluntary Organisations,

the Care in the Community Scottish Working Group, the Scottish

Association of care Home Owners, the Registered Nursing Homes

Association and the Scottish Community Care Forum (which

represents community care users).

5. The consultation exercise is due to end on December 31, 1997.

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