Aspire research with some of the UK’s Spinal Injury Centres shows that 20% of patients are discharged from hospital into nursing homes. In most cases, this is simply because an accessible property isn’t ready for them. Still more go to homes that have yet to be adapted, whilst others end up using hotels or staying with friends and family. In our research, only 11% of patients left hospital and moved straight to a suitable, accessible home.
The Aspire Housing Programme exists because of this situation. There’s clearly huge demand for the Service, so we’re delighted that Midland Heart Housing Association has just offered to provide us with two new properties. Brian Carlin, Aspire’s Chief Executive, signed the management agreements on the properties in Coventry and Leicester last week, and our specialist builders are already gearing up to install the accessible wetrooms and kitchens.
Whilst both new properties will be invaluable, we’re especially excited about the one in Leicester; not only is it our first in the city, but it’s also the first ever Aspire house on two floors. Historically, the high cost of internal lifts meant that we shied away from properties that needed them, both to save the Charity money and so that what our tenants lived with was what they were likely to have in their own homes. But lift prices have fallen, and so when Midland Heart found us this house – and kindly offered to maintain the lift for us – it was too good an opportunity to miss.
These new Aspire houses will be ready for their first tenants later this month and we’re looking forward to them moving in. Over the coming years, dozens of individuals, and their families, will directly benefit from this partnership between Aspire and Midland Heart.