Introduction from our Chair and Chief Executive
Demand for Care & Repair services is at an historic high, and complexity of need and the range of problems has also increased.
During the pandemic, deterioration in housing conditions went unseen and unchecked. Post-Covid, this has resulted in higher demand as well as higher numbers of beneficiaries with more complex needs. Referrals to Care & Repair from local authorities also increased as they worked through pandemic backlogs. Energy costs and inflation skyrocketed, and the cost-of-living crisis hit our beneficiaries hard, adding to increased demand.
The number of people we helped increased from 57,000 in 2021-22 to 62,500 in 2022-23. Our number of home visits also increased by 8% to 17,000, and the value of home improvement and adaptation work we completed rose by £4m to £18.3m. The value of welfare benefits we accessed for our beneficiaries rose by £1m to £9.5m from the previous year. Complexity of need and demand volume are now at an all-time high, and we expect this trend to grow further in the coming year. This is due to rising energy prices, inflation, and many local authority housing and social care teams recruiting more staff to address Covid backlogs, resulting in additional referrals to Care & Repair.
Speaking Up for Older People
We worked hard in 2022-23 to represent the voice of older people and act as the national voice for our 13 Care & Repair Agencies to influence improved Welsh Government policy and increase funding nationally and locally to support our beneficiaries’ needs. Significant to this was the publication of our groundbreaking housing report, The State of Older People’s Housing in Wales.
We were pleased to successfully make the case for another year of funding from five Local Health Boards to continue our Hospital to a Healthier Home (H2HH) service. The service has 13 caseworkers working with hospital discharge teams in 17 hospitals across Wales to speed up safe discharges home.
We successfully made the case for an extra £535,000 capital for Rapid Response Adaptations, supporting the delivery of more essential small adaptations and home improvements through the winter period, helping prevent falls, reduce hospital admissions, and speed up safe hospital discharges. We were also pleased to successfully make the case for a 6% grant increase for Care & Repair in 2023-24.
Overall, it’s been another challenging but successful year. As Chair and Chief Executive, we would like to thank everyone involved in our work during 2022-23. We are grateful to Care & Repair Agencies, Welsh Government, national and local partners, third sector partners, and all our funders.
A final word of thanks to our fantastic staff team for their hard work, inventive ideas and undoubted dedication to improving the homes and lives of older people across Wales.
Chris Jones, Chief Executive, Care & Repair Cymru
Saz Willey Chair of Trustees