Initiative is launched to improve home lives of vulnerable and elderly people in Great Yarmouth area

Vulnerable people will be helped in the home scheme Picture: Antony Kelly

Vulnerable people will be helped in the home scheme Picture: Antony Kelly - Credit: Archant

A new health initiative designed to improve the living standards of vulnerable people in the Great Yarmouth area and alleviate pressure on hospitals has been introduced.

Healthy Homes Assistance is a government-funded collaborative project of the NHS's Great Yarmouth and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Great Yarmouth Borough Council and Norfolk County Council.

The initiative will see money invested in making accessibility improvements to homes of vulnerable people, including additions of such things as grab rails, level access showers and wheelchair ramps to homes.

The scheme has been introduced in hopes of reducing unnecessary hospital admissions and re-admissions by reducing risks around the home.

It is also hoped that in reducing the likelihood of falls and injuries around the home among the elderly it will reduce bed blocking in hospitals.

Fran O'Driscoll, director of partnership and delivery with the CCG, said: 'We are delighted to be working with our partners at the borough council to deliver this fantastic project, which is helping more people to stay at home and retain their independence while reducing pressure on health and social care.

'Healthy Homes Assistance focuses on finding innovative and cost-effective ways to help improve safety in vulnerable people's homes, in turn reducing potentially significant costs if that person was to fall, for example, and need long-term medical care as the result.'

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Penny Carpenter, chairman of the housing and neighbourhoods committee at Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said: 'This new partnership project supports one of the council's priorities, which is to build stronger, more resilient communities, help improve people's quality of life, and help existing services to work better together to support vulnerable people.

'If an older person can avoid unnecessary injury and hospitalisation through the installation of an aid like a grab rail, this not only reduces demand on the NHS and other services but more importantly supports that person's health, wellbeing and sense of independence.'

People can be referred to the scheme by medical professionals, though homes requiring more than £1,000 of improvements will be subject to means testing.

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