Housing scheme for those with learning difficulties

A large-scale project to improve housing for people with learning difficulties across West Sussex has been completed.

A Place To Live – a partnership scheme led by West Sussex County Council – has led to the development of a range of new supported accommodation including small independent flats in West Sussex, for people who have learning difficulties and need 24-hour support.

The scheme, which has been ongoing since 2001, promotes independence, choice and control for people with learning difficulties and meant moving people away from old-fashioned models of care.

It involved re-providing some West Sussex County Council residential homes for people with learning difficulties and in the last few years 17 NHS homes that had been run by the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust.

The NHS provided West Sussex County Council with the capital finance and buildings to develop new housing for individuals who had lived in the NHS homes.

All customers were finally moved into their new homes by December last year.

The evidence suggests that people are now much happier because the new buildings have been designed specifically around meeting their needs and also because they have more individualised care arrangements, which means they can make choices about how they run their lives.

Peter Catchpole, Cabinet Member for Adult Services, said: “Any parent or carer of a person with learning difficulties will feel their sons or daughters, brothers or sisters can lead the lives they want in complete safety in these new houses, which have been redeveloped to an extremely high specification.”