Equipment and adaptations

Age, illness, or disability can make daily tasks difficult. If you’re a Berneslai Homes tenant, we may be able to help by providing equipment or adapting your home to meet your needs. We can provide minor adaptations or equipment to make your day-to-day life easier, or assess you in your home to see if major adaptations would help you.

In both cases, you can apply yourself or someone can apply for you. We’ll normally only agree to adapt a home if the person who needs the adaptations is the tenant, their partner, or a member of their family who lives in the home permanently. This person must find it difficult to live in the home because of its facilities. We don’t carry out adaptations if you’ve applied to buy your home under the Right to Buy scheme.

Minor adaptations

Minor adaptations include things like:

  • a second stair rail
  • a metal hand rail
  • grab rails
  • a lever tap

We don’t usually need to do an assessment for minor adaptations

If we agree to a minor adaptation to your home, we’ll order the work with our construction partner and aim to carry out works within 7 working days of ordering them.


We won’t charge you for any equipment or adaptations

We’re happy to provide the equipment or adaptations that we or our partners agree will help you.


If you don't need the equipment anymore

Any equipment we provide you with belongs to us or our partners and you’ll need to give it back if the person it was provided for doesn’t need it anymore

Major adaptations

Major adaptations include things like:

  • a stair lift or hoist
  • a level-access shower
  • a ramp

Barnsley Council may want to visit you at your home and will contact you to make an appointment for an assessment. An occupational therapist or an equipment and adaptations officer will assess your health and mobility. There’s a very high demand for an assessment, so the team is unable to see everyone straight away. They see people who have the greatest risk to their health, safety, and independence first.

They might give you advice about:

  • easier or safer ways of carrying out everyday tasks
  • specialist equipment that can be provided
  • making adaptations or alterations to your home
  • whether moving home might be the best option for you
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The Equipment, Adaptation and Sensory Impairment Service will assess your needs

They will make sure the adaptations requested are the best way of improving your life and keeping you independent and safe.

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We'll make a decision and write to you to let you know

If we haven't agreed to adapt your home, we'll explain why we've made that decision.

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If we agree to adapt your home, we’ll contact you to arrange a convenient time to carry out the work

Please read our frequently asked questions below for more information on expected timescales and current waiting lists. 

Frequently asked questions about major adaptations

We make our decisions by considering:

  • Whether you need special equipment or an adaptation
  • Whether the equipment or adaptation will meet your current and long-term needs
  • Whether the adaptation is practical and possible for us to do
  • Whether the adaptation is reasonable

Here are some examples of why we won’t agree to an adaptation:

  • It’s not possible to do the adaptation, for example if the path is too steep to be ramped, or the design of the staircase prevents the adaptation
  • We don’t agree that you have a need for the adaptation
  • The adaptation doesn’t meet your needs or isn’t safe, for example there’s a weight limit on stairlifts
  • Your needs would be better met by rehousing

Unfortunately, in line with Berneslai Homes’ Equipment and Adaptations policy, there is no right to appeal this decision. You can download the Equipment and Adaptations policy below. 

However, if you can show that your situation has significantly changed, then please resubmit your request, and our officers will take a fresh look at your case.

We might decide that your best option would be moving to a new home. If that’s the case, we’ll let you know and help you fill in an application form.

Each major adaptation is unique to the needs of the individual and the property being adapted. Specialist products or materials may be required. As a result, once assessed, it’s currently taking us up to 12 months to complete works from the date of approval, depending on the size and complexity of the request.

Here’s what to expect

Once you request a major adaptation, you’re placed on a referral waiting list with the Equipment, Adaptations, and Sensory Impairment Team within the NHS (South and West Yorkshire Partnership Trust). They will make arrangements (by phone call unless another form of contact is specified) for one of their team members to visit you and will carry out the required assessment. This process usually takes between 9 to 12 weeks, although extremely urgent cases are assessed straight away.

Once the assessment has taken place, your case will be taken through our weekly panel meeting where a decision will be made on the request, with three possible outcomes:

  • Agreed
  • Refused
  • Deferred for a feasibility visit

There are currently over 300 cases awaiting assessment and panel decision which can see the time between assessment and panel taking up to 3 months.

Once the decision is made at panel, the Equipment, Adaptations, and Sensory Impairment Team will write to you to inform you of the outcome, unless a feasibility visit is required meaning a Technical Surveyor from Berneslai Homes will make contact to attend your home within a 28 day target timescale to ensure the adaptation request is feasible, working to current Building Regulations, and will take their findings back through panel for a decision.

Under normal circumstances if works are agreed, works orders would be raised and passed to contract partners or sub-contractors to complete. As above, works are currently taking up to 12 months to be completed. 

We currently have a large accumulated programme of works that we’re prioritising and working through as effectively and efficiently as possible. This is currently assessed on a needs basis using information and recommendations provided by the occupational therapist. Where there are no urgent needs identified, we're completing the works on an oldest first basis.

We'll write to all tenants once a decision has been made at our panel meetings. This will detail the outcome of the review as well as contact details of the Berneslai Homes project team to contact if you have any questions. 

If you’re not sure about the status of your equipment and adaptations request or need to know more, please contact us on 01226 787878.