- Written by Tom Giblin
The report highlights the unique role of Shared Lives, a UK-wide approach which involves matching people who need care and support with carefully trained and approved Shared Lives carers who welcome others into their homes, either to live as part of a long term Shared Lives arrangement, for short breaks or for day support.
Alex Fox, CEO of Shared Lives Plus says, “This year’s CQC report on the State of health and care in England once again shows that Shared Lives outperforms all other forms of regulated social care.
The inspectors identify the reasons for this as: teams of staff and Shared Lives carers who are ‘dedicated, enthusiastic and motivated by achieving positive outcomes for people’, the matching process, which ensures that people get to know each other before deciding to share their lives and strong leadership and relationships with other services.
Shared Lives carers are coming under increasing pressure in some areas from budget cuts. It is vital that local areas value and invest in Shared Lives services, so that the model continues to be a growing way for people to live well at the heart of their communities.”
The report highlights a high-performing Shared Lives service, which provides long-term arrangements, short breaks, day support and emergency care for adults with a range of support needs, within Shared Lives carers’ own homes.
A person who uses Shared Lives said:
“Shared Lives are amazing. This is my home and I am made to feel part of the family, they are really nice and friendly.”
One Shared Lives carer said:
“We wanted to see what [the person’s] potential could be. They have gone from doing almost nothing to being outgoing and making decisions for themselves, including where they want to go and who they want to see. It’s been amazing to see the transformation."
Nearly 14,000 people use Shared Lives across the UK, either living with their Shared Lives carer, or being supported through short breaks or day support. Shared Lives is also used as a stepping stone for someone to get their own place. The outcomes can be startling, with people reporting feeling settled, valued and like they belong for the first time in their lives. They make friends and get involved in clubs, activities and volunteering, often for the first time. Shared Lives is well-placed to help local authorities as they balance tightening budgets. For someone with learning disabilities, Shared Lives costs less than other forms of care; on average £26,000 a year less.
Notes to Editors
Shared Lives Plus’s UK wide network of local, regulated Shared Lives schemes individually match trained and approved Shared Lives carers with people who need their support. There is a Shared Lives scheme in almost every local authority area.
A Shared Lives carer shares their home and family life with an adult who needs care or support to help them live well.
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