Guidance on Providing Community Equipment and Housing Adaptations

Closed 6 Jun 2022

Opened 21 Mar 2022

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View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


We are consulting on revised guidance on the provision of community equipment and housing adaptations, which will replace the current guidance, published in 2009, available through the link below:

Guidance on the provision of equipment and adaptations, 2009.

Defining Community Equipment and Housing Adaptations

Community equipment can include, but is not limited to:

  • Equipment to support people with more significant health needs to be nursed or cared for, such as profiling electric community beds, pressure relief mattresses, and a range of moving and handling equipment.
  • Equipment to support daily living tasks, or make caring for the individual safer and easier such as shower chairs and stools, bath lifts, raised toilet seats & frames, grab rails, and mobility aids.
  • Technology enabled care products such as flood detectors, falls monitors, smoke detectors and movement sensors.  These are often linked to a call centre, triggering a response when activated, and provided as part of a service.
  • Children’s equipment to support every day functions, including their education.
  • Ancillary equipment for people with sensory impairments, such as flashing doorbells, low-vision optical aids, text-phones and assistive listening devices.
  • Wheelchairs for short-term loans.
  • Environmental control equipment.
  • Communication aids (including AAC) – to assist children and adults who have difficulty with speech.  Equipment includes aids to writing and reading as well as speech.

The purpose of an adaptation is to modify an environment in order to restore or enable independent living, privacy, confidence and dignity for individuals and their families.  Adaptations can also improve confidence, skills and mobility and reduce symptoms.  They can form part of a range of options available to people experiencing a disabling environment.  This could include, but is not limited to:

  • Adaptations to a bathroom, e.g. replacing a bath with a walk in shower;
  • Construction of an external ramp, and widening of a door frame to allow wheelchair access;
  • Fitting lower work surfaces in the kitchen.
  • Installation of a stairlift or through floor lift;

Why are they important?

The provision of community equipment and home adaptations can reduce risk and injury, help with people’s confidence and their mental well-being, and may prevent unnecessary admission to hospital.  It can support a wide range of people within the community, including:

  • Frail older people
  • Disabled adults, children and young people
  • Older prison populations
  • Palliative and end of life care
  • Individuals with communication needs

The timely provision of community equipment is also a cost-effective solution which can contribute significantly to the streamlining of service responses and pathways, and support wider agendas including, prevention and early intervention, frailty pathways, Anticipatory Care Planning, Mental Health & Dementia, child development, and the management of long-term conditions including end of life care.

It can allow people to do more for themselves and avoid the need for additional, more expensive, support from other services. 

This guidance covers the responsibilities of NHS Scotland and Local Authorities (Health & Social care partnerships, and their Housing and Education partners) for the provision of community equipment and housing adaptations.      

The aim of the guidance is to enable professionals, service users, and carers, to review and understand local health and social care partnerships responsibilities, and to continue to support the aim of a more consistent approach, to the provision of community equipment and housing adaptations across all areas of Scotland. 

Read the consultation paper.

Draft Guidance on the Provision of Equipment and Adaptations: Executive Summary

Why your views matter

Capturing the views and ‘voice’ of a wide range of individuals, patients, families, carers, community organisations, housing, and health and social care partners, is crucial to ensuring the review of the Equipment & Adaptation Guidance is effective, and reflects the needs of our communities.

We want to share with you, and get feedback on, the revised Guidance and the proposed changes and updates which have been applied.

By completing this survey, and sharing your opinion, you will help us understand if we are taking the right approach, and help us shape the final version of the revised Guidance.


  • Health and Social Care
  • Housing and Regeneration