Ribbon cutting to open new countywide equipment and home improvement service

A new equipment and home improvement service helping people stay independent in their own homes has been launched in Somerset.

William Wallace, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care at Somerset County Council, officially cut the ribbon to open the new ‘Somerset my home, my life’ service which is being provided by Aster Living and Millbrook Healthcare.

The service aims to help people get the equipment and home improvements they need to support them to stay independent and living in a place of their choice. Walking frames to hand rails, hoists to level access showers are now available through the new countywide service.

Cllr William Wallace said at the opening: “Most people in Somerset want to remain in their own home and stay independent for as long as possible. And this service supports people to do just that – by giving them the practical things they need to keep safe and active, doing the things they love and living where they want to live.

“I believe this is the beginning of a wonderful partnership between the County Council, District Councils, NHS Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Aster Living and Millbrook Healthcare and I hope many people in the county will benefit from the service. I am very happy to officially cut the ribbon and launch the Somerset my home, my life service.”

Representatives from the County Council, District Councils, CCG, Compass Care and a range of equipment suppliers attended the launch event that took place at the ‘Somerset my home, my life’ centre in Wellington. They were treated to a tour of the equipment depot and a look around the demonstration and assessment facilities at the centre. Trudi Grant, Director of Public Health at the County Council, and Paul Smith, Director at Foundations – the national body for home improvement agencies, gave speeches at the ribbon cutting alongside Cllr William Wallace.

The Community Equipment Service is provided by Millbrook Healthcare and can range from simple equipment for daily living such as walking frames to more complex equipment such as hoists to help with daily life.

Phillip Campling, Managing Director Millbrook Healthcare, said: “All of the team at Millbrook are very proud to be working for the residents of Somerset. It is hoped that through the new high quality facilities we have commissioned and the responsive service we have implemented that more people can maintain or improve their independence within their own homes.”

The Home Improvement Agency Service is provided by Aster Living to assist people to repair, improve and adapt their home so they can maintain their independence. This can be adaptations such as handrails or level access showers.

Becky Bell, Aster Living Service Development Manager, said: “We’re delighted to have been chosen by Somerset County Council to provide this exciting new service.

“We have a strong track record of delivering Home Improvement Agency services already across southern England and are very much looking forward to bringing that expertise to ‘Somerset my home, my life’.”

Access to this service sometimes requires a social care or health assessment, however both Millbrook Healthcare and Aster Living provide a private retail service which can be accessed by anyone.

Both services are open to people of all ages that need equipment or home adaptations to maintain their independence. The service is also available to children and young people who need equipment or adaptations at their place of study or at other family member’s homes.

The service is funded by Mendip District Council, Sedgemoor District Council, Somerset County Council, CCG, Taunton Deane Borough Council and West Somerset Council.

To find out more about ‘Somerset my home, my life’ visit: http://www.somersetmyhomemylife.co.uk or contact Millbrook Healthcare on 0333 003 2407 or Aster Living on 0333 400 8299. Both services can also be found on Somerset Choices, visit: http://www.somersetchoices.org.uk