When the pandemic hit, many patients who were already in the Spinal Injury Centres were quickly discharged. And over the following months, people who were newly injured were less likely to make it into a Spinal Injury Centre, and would have less time there than ever before if they did.

Most properties in the UK aren’t wheelchair accessible. So it’s no surprise many people who sustain a spinal cord injury can’t return to their own home. In 'normal' years, hundreds of people with spinal cord injuries end up in care homes or unadapted properties because nothing more suitable is available when they need to leave hospital. With shorter rehab times and reduced access to the specialist support in Spinal Injury Centres, the number of people going into unsuitable accommodation has only increased.

Demand for Aspire’s accessible interim accommodation should have been greater than ever. But with systems thrown into disarray, getting people into our properties was proving incredibly difficult; care packages, already hit by Brexit, were hard to arrange, GPs stopped registering new patients, and just arranging for everything that’s needed to move home was often impossible. As a result, we had clients who were desperate to get out of care homes into one of our vacant properties but were stuck where they were.

The Aspire team spent many hours unpicking the blocks that were put in people’s way and new tenants moved in throughout the year. But with the time taken to achieve each new tenancy, our occupancy levels were at their lowest for some time. As restrictions have lifted, we’ve been able to work through that backlog and ensure our properties are being used again.

But we know that so many people who were discharged into care homes are still there, often unaware of the support and help that might be available to them; everyone in the Aspire team will be doing all we can to make contact with those people, ensure they have access to all the services that they need, and help them on their delayed journey to living an independent life.

If you are in need of wheelchair accessible accommodation you can see where we have available properties or contact our Housing Team by emailing [email protected]

Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day 2021

The impact of Covid-19 on Aspire’s Assistive Technology Service

The impact of Covid-19 on Aspire’s Independent Living Service

Housing vacancies

Accessible Housing

How we help

Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Day 2021 image with charity logos