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Summary of Research for Website

The Surrey Supporting People team has carried out several pieces of research in-house and also commissioned other research to help identify unmet supported housing needs in Surrey. All of the findings will feed into the Surrey Supporting People five-year strategy.

A summary of all the completed projects and also work which is currently in progress is below. We welcome any comments or information you may be able to provide us with.


Service Provider Report

          We sent out questionnaires to all Surrey Supporting People services asking questions in relation to demand for services, unmet supported housing needs and move on accommodation. We received a total of 157 completed questionnaires from providers. A brief summary of the main findings is below:
Only 25% of services reported low demand or having difficulties with filling voids. Over half of these services were for older people with support needs and the reasons given were the size of accommodation, access to and location of accommodation and the type of accommodation on offer;
Over a quarter of services (26%) referred to a lack of awareness of their service as being a reason for there being hidden demand and 17% of services referred to people being cared for family / elderly carers;
Nearly half of all services (46%) felt that service users are not able to move on when ready. The main barriers faced by clients were the lack of move on accommodation, length of waiting lists for accommodation, local connection rules and points systems and the lack of self-contained accommodation;
Over a quarter of services (27%) reported that they are unable to meet the needs of all current service users. The main reasons were individuals with too high support needs for the service, and service users not engaging with the service;
Eighty services (51%) reported that they do not have a process for consulting with black and minority ethnic groups to ensure their needs are met. Very few services for older people with support needs (24%) have a process in place for consulting with BME groups.
Thank you to all providers who returned a completed questionnaire.

Housing Needs Report

          In a piece of work with each of the eleven boroughs and districts we have looked at the statutory homelessness statistics and the number of vulnerable people who have registered a housing need or been referred to special needs housing panels within the County. The following findings were identified:
A total of 1237 people were accepted as eligible, homeless and in priority need across Surrey between April 2003 – March 2004.
11.8% of these people had mental health needs.
10.9% were either vulnerable 16/17 year olds or care leavers.
8.5% had a physical, sensory or cognitive disability.
          These findings support previous research, which has highlighted a need for services for people with mental health needs and vulnerable young people. It also suggests the need for services for people with a physical, sensory, or cognitive disability is higher than first thought.
There are currently special needs housing panels which cover seven of the eleven districts / boroughs, covering a range of different client groups.
94 people with a mental health problem have been referred to one of the seven panels and are currently awaiting accommodation.
22 people with a learning disability have been referred to one of four panels and are currently awaiting accommodation.
          These findings highlight the fact that there are many people with a learning disability and unmet supported housing needs who have not been referred to special needs housing panels and are not on housing registers.

Care Manager Survey

Research undertaken with Care Mangers in Surrey has identified the following:

The greatest level of unmet need identified by Care Managers was for people with a learning disability. An extra 77 units of accommodation are needed within the next twelve months if this need is to be met. The majority of these services need to be accommodation based.
At least 36 further units of housing support are required for people with a physical, sensory or cognitive disability in Surrey, 17% of these are needed for 18-25 year olds. Over a quarter of new units need to be floating support services.
Fewer older people with unmet supported housing needs were identified than the other two client groups but at least 20 people have unmet needs. 20% of these people require extra care but it was largely felt that either suitable accommodation was not available for them or the person was reluctant to leave their current accommodation.
          These findings relate specifically to people who are currently in receipt of Surrey Adults & Community Care Services (A&CC) and needing housing related support within the next year.

Floating Support Research Report
          A research project was commissioned in April / May 2004 to look at the floating support services in Surrey and consider whether they are an effective way of providing housing related support. Some of the main points arising from this piece of work are:
Clients saw their support workers as providing a broad range of services;
All of the clients interviewed expressed satisfaction with their service and often felt workers had more time to spend with them and were more responsive than statutory workers;
A greater proportion of women than men use floating support;
Housing departments have benefited significantly from the provision of floating support and clients benefit from improved tenancy security, financial management and quality of life as a result of the service;
Using floating support as an option offers a more cost effective model on the whole and allows individuals a much more independent life style while sustaining personal stability.

Complex Needs Research December 2003

          This case study research was commissioned by the Surrey Supporting People team and sought to identify the accommodation and support needs of service users who presented with dual diagnosis or complex need in Surrey. Some of the main findings were:
o Historically, inter-agency work for this client group has been poor;
There was common agreement that the county suffers from insufficient or inappropriate supported housing for this client group which can often lead to bed blocking within the county's in-patient psychiatric units;
Concern was expressed over the provision of appropriate accommodation for younger people;
A more comprehensive range of services exists in West Surrey than in East Surrey;
Some individuals may be placed in inappropriate accommodation without the level of support they required because no appropriate accommodation exists
Domestic Violence Research – Provision of Support Services for victims of Domestic Violence in Surrey

          This research project was commissioned and carried out between November – December 2003 and consisted of semi-structured interviews with accommodation based and outreach services for women at risk of domestic violence. Some of the findings of this project were:
Demand well exceeds the supply of 27 refuge spaces in Surrey;
The majority of clients have other needs for support, such as mental health, drug and / or alcohol misuse;
The ability to assist clients with multiple problems is limited;
Demand for outreach services, which are not funded by Supporting People, is high and they are reluctant to promote their service because of this.

Surrey County Council Market Research Report

          Surrey County Council's Adults & Community Care commissioned a research project, part of which looked at future demand for older persons sheltered housing and other client group supported housing services. Some of the findings were:
The older population in Surrey will increase by 7% over the next seven years, and the very old population by 16%;
There is an oversupply of sheltered housing places for older people in Surrey;
Remodelling sheltered housing into extra-care housing is an option;
There is too little supported living for younger disabled adults in Surrey;
There are disabled adults in care homes in Surrey who could leave registered care and become independent if more supported living were available;
The expectations of disabled people and their relations for a near-normal life are increasing and their demands for independent living will grow also.

In addition to the above research we have also consulted with stakeholders and service users.


BME Research

          We have recently commissioned PS Consultants to carry out a research project to identify the unmet supported housing needs of people from black and ethnic minority (BME) groups in Surrey. If you are contacted by PS Consultants to assist them with this piece of work, we would very much appreciate your help.
          If you would like any further information on any of the above projects or you have any information about unmet supported housing needs in Surrey, please use the contact us function on the website or e-mail Simon Plummer on