The Future Direction for Extra Care Provision in South East England

A Review and Report published by the Housing LIN and JIP South East

The significant preventative advantages and choice for older people offered by Extra Care Housing (ECH) are widely acknowledged and the ECH programme in the South East of England has been successful over recent years, boosted by Department of Health and Homes and Community Agency capital grants.

However, the financial landscape has changed dramatically and this led the Housing Learning Improvement Network (Housing LIN) and the Joint Improvement Partnership South East (JIP South East) to jointly commission research to identify a future direction for the Region's ECH sector.

The work was undertaken by specialist independent consultants Ridgeway Associates and involved comprehensive levels of data review and analysis together with a range of consultation to understand the views and experiences of Local Authorities, providers and ECH residents. The resulting evidence base was not only vital in drawing conclusions and making recommendations, it also supported the drafting of a toolkit to assist in assessments of the business viability of potential ECH developments.

A range of important messages emerged from this project and from these it is clear that 'culture change', innovation and greater partnership working will be needed if ECH solutions are to fit with the prevailing economic and social climates.