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Handyman installing housing adaptation

Room to improve: innovation and good practice in housing adaptations conference


The Foundry
17 Oval Way
SE11 5RR
United Kingdom

Date and Time:

We are pleased to host this conference to explore innovation and good practice in housing adaptations, with special guest host: Nick Knowles.


Conference chair: Catherine Foot, Director of Evidence, Centre for Ageing Better

With special guest host: Nick Knowles

Our research finds that, when done in combination with necessary repairs, both minor and major home adaptations can improve a range of outcomes for people in later life and promote independence. It also highlights the significant personal and professional barriers to adaptations and repairs, including the clinical design of products, the complexity of access and the stigma attached to a product designed ‘for older people’.

This conference is for those interested in housing adaptations and repairs to discuss and debate these issues and stimulate action within the sector. More local areas, providers and health commissioners need to fund aids and adaptations in a timely manner to ensure people benefit from simple changes to their home. We want this event to drive change within the sector and stimulate people who can make change happen to think of different solutions to enable more people to enjoy a good later life now and in the future. 

The event will launch the findings from our recent call for practice, undertaken by Care & Repair England, to find local areas that are delivering home adaptations and organising services in the most effective ways. We are delighted that Nick Knowles, presenter of DIY:SOS and The Big Build, has agreed to host a panel discussion.


This conference is for senior stakeholders and practitioners in health, social care, and public health; decision makers in local and national government; and Health and wellbeing boards and commissioners.

This conference is free to attend.


*details may be subject to change

  • 10.00am: Arrivals, refreshments and registration
  • 10.30am: Conference start
    • Welcome and Introduction – Catherine Foot, Director of Evidence, Centre for Ageing Better 
    • Personal stories – people who have lived experience with home aids and adaptations share their stories
    • Launch of Call for Practice – Sue Adams, Chief Executive, Care and Repair England
  • 11.00am: Group discussion sessions. Topics might include:
    • Information and advice
    • Reducing delays and simplifying delivery
    • Integration with Health and Social Care
    • The role of Handyperson services
    • Policy barriers
  • 12.30pm: Lunch and networking 
  • 1.30pm: Group discussion sessions (continued)
  • 2.30pm: Keynote speech - Cllr Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, LGA
  • 2.50pm: Break
  • 3.15pm: Panel discussion and audience Q&A – with special guest host: Nick Knowles
    • Panellists:

      • Rosie Seymour, Deputy Programme Director, Better Care Support Team (a partnership team for NHS England, MHCLG, DHSC and the LGA)
      • Sue Adams, Chief Executive, Care and Repair England
      • Becky Bell, Home Improvement Agency Manager, Oxford City Council
      • Senior representative from the Department of Health and Social Care / Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (invited)
  • 4.15pm: Chair's closing remarks
  • 4.30pm: Conference end

If you have any questions about the event or would like to book a place, please contact:

Ellie Gotay, Communications and Events Assistant: