Harrow Council has called on the Government to provide fairer funding when it comes to home adaptations for disabled people.

It has been forced to top up the borough’s ‘disabled facilities grant’ [DFG] programme by an extra £932,000 to help cope with the increasing demand and “underfunding”.

DFGs are used to alter the homes of people who require assistance; such as installing specialist showers or handles near stairs and doors.

Andrew Campion, head of asset management at Harrow Council, explained that the entire service needs to be reviewed to help manage these circumstances.

As well as the council’s increased contribution, he noted that extra staff training will improve efficiency while the eligibility of certain adaptations will be thoroughly assessed.

“We have got some financial challenges, and, at the same time, more and more people want DFGs to be independent in their own homes,” he said.

“We are putting forward these proposals that should help us in the short-term at least.”

According to a council report, Harrow receives around £5 per head from central government towards this service. This compares to around £13 in neighbouring Hillingdon and Brent.

It notes that this stems from the initial grant bidding process in 2010/11 when Harrow bid for 78 per cent of its needs and Brent and Hillingdon asked for double – according to the council the current allocations still reflect this.

“We are disadvantaged in this national funding mechanism,” said Mr Campion.

“Demographically, and given the needs of our borough, we should be receiving more money.”

The council’s health and wellbeing board agreed to write to the Government asking it to address these disparities.

Cllr Graham Henson, leader of Harrow Council, said such underfunding damages the whole system as it leads to delays in installing equipment some people rely on.

His thoughts were echoed by Dr Genevieve Small, chairman of Harrow Clinical Commissioning Group, who pointed out that “if things are not done properly, people are more likely to end up in long term care” which impacts the entire health service.