Thirteen executive director attends adult social care select committee

A senior manager at housing organisation Thirteen is providing information to a Westminster inquiry into adult social care.

Chris Smith Social

13 Dec 2021

The inquiry, led by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee of MPs, is looking into how to develop long-term solutions for adult social care.

Chris Smith, executive director for business growth at Thirteen, is presenting to the committee today (Monday 13 December) after being invited to take part following Thirteen’s response to a consultation run by the committee earlier this year.

This session will focus on the recent Adult Social Care White Paper which sets out the vision that ‘every decision about care should be a decision about housing’, putting the importance of good quality accommodation firmly at the heart of the debate.

The committee is also investigating how sectors such as housing can work with health and social care organisations to improve support for adults in the UK.

Chris said: “Thirteen and other housing associations across the country already do so much in the adult care sector, providing support for older and vulnerable people to live independently for longer.

“It’s important that our voice is heard by the government so they can recognise the unique contribution that housing associations make to help people of all ages and abilities live well in our communities.

“We work at the heart of those communities so when reforming health and social care, we can bring a unique perspective to the debate.

“We think that funding needs to be better-used to develop new homes and care schemes to properly address the needs of working-age adults as well as older people. So presenting to the committee helps us to give the MPs more detail about the role that housing associations can play in providing choice and quality of accommodation.”

Thirteen has a wide range of expertise and experience in care and support, with around 10% of its 35,000 homes designated for older people or people needing further support. This includes extra care and sheltered accommodation, homes for adults with learning disabilities, and support for people fleeing domestic abuse.

Chris continued: “Offering care in the community can prevent hospital admissions in the first place and enable swifter discharges, so good quality housing and support services can have a massive impact within the social care system.

“Homes need good investment to ensure they offer safe, warm and comfortable places where people can remain independent.

“Services can also be confusing for residents and their families to access, as people might need to find several organisations and funding sources. This can be a barrier to getting the right funding that people need to access the support to stay independent and get the right care for them.”

“Only by bringing the range of sectors together and considering all these different elements of support, will we be able to provide the most effective adult care services. Hopefully my evidence to the committee will help to develop these services and get them ready to support older and vulnerable people in future.”

Alongside Thirteen, a representative from the National Housing Federation and a private developer of older people's accommodation will be present at the session.