Knowsley Centre for Independent Living highlighted as best practice

Published on: Thursday, 22-October-2015

Care & Repair England, as well as Age UK, have both identified Knowsley Centre for Independent Living as best practice for the home adaptations service it provides for disabled people.

The Centre for Independent Living, in Huyton, was established in 2011 in response to demand for such a service.  Residents had requested a facility that offered a range of services ‘under one roof’.  In response, Knowsley Council, North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (formally 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust), Knowsley Housing Trust and the Voluntary Sector formed a partnership in order to review the services available and how they could best be delivered to meet the needs of users.

Now, a fully integrated team and services operate from the facility on Huyton Business Park.  Services include an in-house Disabled Facilities Grant team, Care & Repair and handyperson service, Knowsley Housing Trust’s adaptations team, occupational therapists, sensory services, assistive technology, a children’s team, wheelchair services, rehabilitation, blue badge scheme, direct payments, an advocacy hub, repair facility and equipment recycling centre.  In addition, a range of aids are on display that people can call in and try out, including stair lifts, beds and lifeline alarms. 
Care & Repair England describe the Centre for Independent Living as pioneering, particularly in the way it has demonstrated what can be achieved if organisations work together, pool budgets and co-locate staff.

Cllr Sandra Gaffney, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care, commented “This service is invaluable for our older or disabled residents who need help to remain independent in their own homes.  Whatever their needs, the Centre has it all – from initial assessment, through to the provision of equipment, handyperson services and adaptations.  The services provided are very much led by the service users themselves, who play a very active part in the development of the service.  It is great news that the Centre has been identified as best practice and recognised at a national level.”

Linda Farrington, Operational Manager, Centre for Independent Living, added “Working together in the Centre for Independent Living has allowed all the staff immediate access to each other’s expertise ensuring the best possible outcome for the service users. The satisfaction and excellent feedback from the service users spurs all the staff on. Knowing we can make a difference to people’s lives, makes working together at the Centre such an empowering experience.”