MONMOUTHSHIRE will share £25,000 of Welsh government support to help older people remain independent in their own homes.

The county will split the funding with Torfaen. The funds will be made available to Care & Repair services, which help modify hospital patients' homes – with handrails, repairs, or phone extensions – allowing people to leave hospital and recover at home in more familiar surroundings.

Welsh housing minister Julie James announced Monmouthshire's funding as part of a £195,000 Wales-wide support package.

She said: “A number of Care & Repair agencies are working with NHS Wales to deliver a winter pressures pilot, which will see a case worker joining hospital ward rounds to identify patients who could benefit from home adaptations.

“This extra funding will enable Care & Repair agencies to support people to leave hospital and return to a safe home. Care & Repair agencies deliver a range of small adaptations to a person’s home which can help to reduce pressure on our hospital services.

“These could include levelling concrete floors or repairing stairs, installing hand rails or telephone extensions – whatever might help prevent falls and maintain a person’s independence in their own home.

“The right housing can help people to maintain their independence and provide the right environment for people leaving hospital - reducing delays in discharging patients. This can relieve pressure on emergency departments, which is particularly important during the winter months to alleviate pressure on the NHS while also helping people to live for longer in their own homes.”

Chris Jones, chief executive of Care & Repair Cymru, said: “We are absolutely delighted with this additional funding from Welsh Government, which will help us carry out home improvements and adaptations which support older people to be discharged from hospital more quickly.

"Our Hospital to Home service enables us to speak to patients and hospital staff earlier about whether a patient’s home is safe, warm and accessible, and where improvements and adaptations are needed, to plan these quicker so that discharge from hospital isn’t delayed by an inappropriate home to return to."