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Facts and Figures 2020/2021



Independent Living


The start of the year saw East Boro move our satellite office in Weymouth from Lynch Lane to the Waverley in Abbotsbury Road. This provided us with the opportunity to combine our registered offices across Dorset, for care services including the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole conurbations and have Faulkner House in Wimborne as the Trust’s one registered care location.


The COVID19 pandemic has made this a really hard year to be working in care and support. The dedication that each member of the East Boro staff has shown in their staunch support for the people we support on a daily basis has been incredible. On the 16th March 2020 the supported living services went into the first lockdown, which was earlier than the rest of the country. We suspended social activities including the Arts and Craft group and all community support.  We have, however, brought these services into clients’ homes in line with Government guidance, so that individuals could continue to be supported in their own homes with staff encouraging clients to learn new skills by hosting cooking, arts and crafts, gardening and daily exercise groups. Tenants have been making hats, masks and learning flower arranging at home, have been using the gym at the local park and having BBQs in the garden.


The teams across Bournemouth, Poole and Weymouth have worked tirelessly to ensure that every person continued to receive consistency and a high level of care and support and ensured that people were able to celebrate their ‘lockdown birthdays’. We worked closely with health services, preparing and sharing Care Passports with the local hospitals for all of the supported living clients and individuals who have a learning disability, a physical disability or mental health condition, so the hospital staff had all the information needed in the event of a person’s admission without their usual support. To minimise the risk of infection, all of the care and support staff received specialised COVID19 infection control training. Which proved successful as we only had one client in all of our services with a positive COVID19 test result in 2020/2021.


Throughout the lockdown period, we carried on providing the Sitting Service to unpaid carers who received between two and four hours of respite support a week. This service was invaluable as it gave the carers time to carry out essential tasks. Through the year from April 2020 to March 2021, during lockdown, East Boro staff delivered a total of 1133 hours of Sitting Service support. With the easing of the first lockdown in late June/July 2020, we worked with individual clients to look at how we could support them to minimise the risks of returning to work and college placements. Clients were supported to learn new infection control practices and safer ways of travelling to and from their places of work. For many of the individuals we support, the second National Lockdown appeared to be emotionally harder on them, with several individuals needing more time and assistance to cope with the isolation and withdrawal that the restrictions were instilling in them.  Since 16th March 2020 and up to 15th March 2021 we have been able to provide 1,468.5 hours of extra support through the use of the 4 Your Independence Service and utilise £13,556.02 worth of funding from the Infection Control Grant and the Workforce Capacity fund to respond to individual need.


Throughout these difficult times the care and support staff have provided reassurance, guidance and the consistency of support that people needed to get everyone through the the pandemic. Our care and support staff have delivered over 60,000 hours of support to our East Boro Supported Living residents during 2020/2021. Three Care and Support staff have been health shielding since March 2020 and we have had seven staff members off at different times over the last year, following a positive COVID19 test result. The staff teams have had their first vaccinations with 84.5% having already received their second injection by April 2021.


Sheltered Housing


We are a provider of support for older people through our housing support and wellbeing services at our sheltered housing schemes.


We understand that where you live can have a great impact on your quality of life. All our sheltered housing properties are designed to help our tenants and residents lead their life their way and offer security, independence and opportunities for ongoing social activity with peers, and peace of mind.


Our customer base is complex and varied and – like all customers – their needs evolve over time as their circumstances change. The Sheltered Housing Team is central to the service we provide. They provide support to tenants in our housing schemes, aiming to ensure their independence and enjoyment whilst adding to the security that they feel.   

In addition to our Sheltered Housing Team, all our properties are supported by a 24-hour Emergency Lifeline service.


This service allows tenants to call for help whenever they need it, whether that be summoning emergency services assistance, reporting an emergency repair, or obtaining advice and reassurance. The Lifeline Service is monitored by friendly, well trained staff, who can respond quickly and appropriately 24-hours a day, seven days a week.


In 2020/21, we had to adapt the way we delivered our housing support and wellbeing service to allow us to continue to deliver services to our sheltered housing residents. The service moved to an off-site telephone-based service, the team continued to support those tenants who required a little bit of extra help to maintain their independence and good health and the number of welfare telephone calls to tenants increased. During the year we made over 26,000 phone calls to East Boro Sheltered residents.

We have continued to provide a constant service and have remained in regular contact with over 250 customers a week.

Our residents value their face to face contacts with our support staff and we are confident that satisfaction will return to pre-covid levels when the team are able to resume their visits to schemes.


Resident Involvement


Resident involvement is crucial to East Boro, ensuring that we put residents’ views at the heart of what we do.


Our focus in on building stronger, long-term relationships with our customers, based upon knowledge and respect, and we aim to provide a service offer that reflects their needs. In the past year, despite the difficulties caused by the pandemic, we have continued to listen to our customers and we have carried out our annual Residents Satisfaction Survey, a consultation on our Housing Service Standards and some policy reviews.


East Boro had been unable to hold Tenant Consultative Committee (TCC) meetings in person due to the National Government restrictions. Our Sheltered Housing TCC meetings are now held virtually via the social media platform Zoom.


Our Staff


Staff Teams within East Boro are split across different Directorates including Housing Services, Care and Independent Living Services, Finance, Development, and HR.


During the 2020/2021 year we have strategically taken the decision to reduce some of the areas in which East Boro operates. We transferred our Homes4Let service, transferred our Physical Disability Care & Support contract at Shaftesbury Court Bournemouth, and reduced our domiciliary care provision restricting services to delivery to East Boro tenants with a learning disability only. All of these actions were completed by the end of March 2021. This saw a reduction in the East Boro staff colleague numbers from 133 at the start of April 2020 to 95 at the start of April 2021. Considerable integration work has been undertaken by many East Boro colleagues with Aster colleagues and this has set our team up in a very positive place looking to the future.


As part of Aster Offer and Working Well from Home, Aster partnered with AXA Health to bring staff, including East Boro staff, the NHS Thrive app for free, giving them 24/7 support with their emotional wellbeing. With Aster, East Boro employees have access to Simply Health - which offers access 24/7 video GP appointments, 24/7 telephone counsellors and online physio assessments through their simply health consult app.


Finance


The 2020/2021 financial year for East Boro Housing Trust is the first full year being a member of the Aster Group.  The accounts displayed on the following page are for East Boro Housing Trust for the financial year 2020/2021.  These accounts have been consolidated into the Aster Group.


The Trust’s turnover increased by £338k to £5.4 million compared to last year. From a Housing perspective the increase was a result of the annual rent increase and the first let of units during the year following purchases, new build and refurbishment completions.

Care and Support income reduced compared to last year due to a large care and support contract that ended in 2019/20. Other Income reduced due to the ending of the Emergency Hamper Service in the previous year by Dorset Council, who chose to cease commissioning the service, and a reduction in service for the Handy Man service, which was due to the requirement for customers having to shield due to COVID19.

Property Sales increased turnover following the sale of three low cost properties at 75% market value in perpetuity.


The Trust’s operating costs increased by £92k to £5.04 million. This rise is due to the increase in lettings, care and support costs reducing and additional property sales costs.

During the year the Trust disposed of two existing social housing properties. The proceeds from sale totalled £700k and provided a profit of £98k.


The Trust purchased six properties during the year costing £2.07m and received grant funding from Local Authorities to support the purchase totalling £2.03m. These properties are bungalows for supporting vulnerable adults.


The Trust received £10m funding from the Aster Group to enable the Trust to repay existing loans, to release covenants and security and provide future funds for developments and property purchases in line with the Trust’s development plan.

The Trust is continuing to focus on the development and purchase of properties to increase its units, generate income and fund future borrowing.


Further details can be viewed in our current Annual Report 


NB: Information correct as of the publication of East Boro’s 2020/2021 Annual Report in 2020