FOI request (FOIR-314047314)
Disabled Facilities Grant
Requested Mon 08 March 2021
Responded Fri 26 March 2021
As a benevolent fund, the Charity for Civil Servants are able to consider applications for financial assistance towards disability adaptations. Our current policy requires applicants to have obtained an OT Report and usually to have applied for a Disabled Facilities Grant (DFG) before we can consider offering assistance.
We are aware that for many Local Authorities there are delays in obtaining OT reports / Needs Assessments and processing DFG applications due to current COVID-19 restrictions and the obvious difficulties this presents for carrying out assessments.
To help inform our policy we would be grateful if you could provide us with the following information in relation to your Local Authority:
1. What are you doing now with regards to DFG, OT reports and so on?
2. Are there any exceptions? What about terminal cases?
3. Would you accept external OT reports?
4. For people needing to be discharged from hospital, will you accept a Hospital OT Report, especially for less major work, for example, downstairs bathroom, stairlift?
5. Is there anything applicants can do to speed things up?
And in the same vein:
6. Are Social Services looking at providing any help now for example, profiling beds, commodes and so on, or is a visit required first? If the charity could help, are you able to suggest reputable suppliers?
7. Will you provide external ramps for wheelchairs?
8. Is there anything you can do now regards providing equipment while the restrictions apply?
9. Do you have a waiting list?
The charity is able to accept NHS OT Reports but it is unlikely these will give recommendations for specific equipment. For example:
A hospital bed may be recommended to get someone home which should usually be provided by Social Services but they are not visiting for assessments. Does the charity provide a profiling bed in this instance or would an adjustable bed do? Do they need a specific type of mattress?
If a commode is needed, is there any specific type?
We would be grateful for any information you are able to provide to help inform our policy going forward.
Your assistance in this matter is much appreciated.
1. At Hastings Borough Council we have OT staff in-house who complete the OT assessment and make OT recommendations which are passed to the Grants Officer to progress the DFG. During Covid-19 restrictions, OT's are working remotely, completing telephone and video assessments. We are visiting only when essential and in a very targeted way to gather information which can't be gained using remote methods. PPE is worn throughout. The surveyors we use are visiting as normal and the contractors continue to complete works. We are hoping that it will be soon be safe to relax these measures and get back to visiting. Our waiting lists are low - remote working has enabled us to maintain throughput.
2. Cases will be prioritised according to urgency.
3. We would use them to inform our OT Assessment.
4. Again we work closely with Hospital professionals to facilitate safe and speedy discharge.
5. Complete and return forms promptly.
6. This is outside the remit of Hastings Borough Council - responsibility for provision of this sits with either the NHS or Adult Social Care.
7. Temporary or permanent? Temporary ramps are provided by NHS or Adult Social Care. Permanent are via the DFG.
8. This is outside the remit of Hastings Borough Council and that responsibility for provision of this sits with either the NHS or Adult Social Care. If we do identify small items of equipment during our Housing OT Assessment, we can prescribe via ICES, thereby preventing handoffs and delays.
9. Non complex cases (OTA level) - no wait. Complex cases qualified OT input less than 2 months.
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