More than 5,400 people across Leicestershire have benefited from a pioneering housing support partnership in its first two years.
Lightbulb is a centralised service, hosted by Blaby District Council, in partnership with Leicestershire County Council, district councils, local Clinical Commissioning Groups, Leicestershire Partnership NHS Trust and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.
Fully launched in 2017, Lightbulb has seen a drastic reduction in the processing time for residents’ Disability Facilities Grant applications from enquiry to completion, reducing from 48.5 weeks before launch, improving to 32 weeks, and now standing at 20 weeks across all Districts.
The latest customer satisfaction ratings have seen 100% of those surveyed confirm that Lightbulb had met their expectations.
The improvement in the time taken to deliver adaptations in homes across the county has also ensured that focus can be spent on more complex cases, as well as delivering 37% more cases overall than was projected at the planning stage two years ago.
It has saved an estimated more than £360,000 for the local economy, with medium to long-term savings estimated at around £2.1 million.
From the installation of grab rails to small house extensions, Lightbulb is focused on making sure that residents can stay independent in their homes for as long as possible, benefitting both the local health economy and the wellbeing of those individuals supported through Lightbulb.
In one case, a lady in Melton was struggling to live in her property due to a combination of difficulties accessing the property and with using the furniture within it. Through one Housing Support Coordinator, the resident was able to have a comprehensive housing “MOT,” leading to grab rails being installed both inside and outside of her property, as well as a bed lever and a small armchair.
These relatively small changes have had a big positive impact, enabling – enabling this lady to live more comfortably in her own home, instead of having to consider a move to any sort of supported accommodation.
Jane Toman, Chief Executive of Blaby District Council, said: “As we reach two years of the service I think it’s important to highlight just how much of a positive difference Lightbulb is making across Leicestershire. This service supports vulnerable individuals and our priority has been to ensure the correct help they need is delivered to them as efficiently and quickly as possible.
“We have worked with partners from across the county working collaboratively together can make a huge difference and save hundreds of thousands of pounds for the local health economy.”
Lightbulb has been recognised with three awards, named ‘Best Collaborative Working Initiative’ by the Association for Public Service Excellence and Commended at the Home Improvement Agency Awards. It was also given the honour of best Public/Public Partnership at the 2018 Local Government Chronicle Awards.
Residents requiring minor or major adaptations can contact Lightbulb by calling 0116 305 0004 or visit www.leicestershire.gov.uk.