This week Fiona and I joined Sarah Storer and the team from the Derby City Shared Lives scheme at their local launch for the Scaling Up Shared Lives in Health Programme. Sarah and the team had organised for people from the local community, the council, health professionals, the local hospital and other third sector organisations to join them and learn more about what their plans are for the next 3 years.
We heard from a Shared Lives carer about a 6 month matching process with a lady who has now lived with her for a year, and we heard how their relationship had blossomed from the first day when they met on a hospital ward. If a Shared Lives match had not been made, the lady would have gone to live in residential care from a really young age, but having a team of Shared Lives families who now support her within their own, she lives a full and happy life in the community.
As we are focusing 10 weeks of our blog on each of the areas who are receiving match funding through the Scaling Up Shared Lives in Health Programme, we thought it was a good time to focus on Derby City and the Southern Derbyshire CCG.
Derby City Shared Lives scheme are a well-established scheme and will be receiving match funding through the programme to develop and expend their current Shared Lives service and plan to support an additional 40 people through from the specified target groups across the next 3 years:
- People with dementia
- People with a range of health needs/ diagnoses at risk of unnecessary admission to residential care or hospital
They will not only be looking for Shared Lives carers who live in Southern Derbyshire who could support people with long-term, live in Shared Lives but are also going to be looking for Shared Lives carers who want to offer short breaks and day support. Having a range of Shared Lives choices for people will enable people to not only chose Shared Lives, but be supported entirely in the community wherever possible.
Shared Lives Derby are no stranger to development work; for the last 12 months they have been developing Shared Lives specifically to extend their offer for people with mental ill health so that people can live and receive support in a family setting. Through this project they set up new referral pathways, set up new Shared Lives arrangements and made sure that a lot more people know about Shared Lives. This project has been a great success and has increased the number of referrals into the scheme, so much so that they are now receiving more referrals for people with dementia and those at risk of admission to hospital/residential care admission than they are able to support. The new match funding from NHS England and the Southern Derbyshire CCG will enable the scheme to continue to grow so that matches for these referrals can be found and more people can be supported in the community.
The Scaling Up Shared Lives in Healthcare programme is one part of wider plans for Derby City. Health and social care professionals in the city are working together pro-actively to ‘Break the Cycle’ of inappropriate and ineffective support, and Shared Lives has been identified as a key part to ‘breaking this cycle’. This includes:
Preventing, reducing and delaying the need for formal social care in the community
Reducing dependence on long term formal care services following hospital discharge and to prevent avoidable admissions
Reducing the legacy costs of intensive support provided at home
The Step-up/ Step-down & DCC Social Work team at Royal Derby Hospitals will be trained to use Shared Lives as a route for medically fit people who need interim support to leave hospital. Social workers and Shared Lives workers will jointly assess people for Shared Lives support.
The programme will also support Shared Lives carers to develop ‘dementia friendly’ and accessible homes through adaptations, purchase and provision / installations of aids / equipment.
At the local launch event, Derby City Shared Lives manager Sarah Storer said, “Shared Lives is for absolutely everyone. If someone is eligible for a package of care, then Shared Lives must be included in the options that are considered. In three years we hope that people talk as much about Shared Lives as they do about residential care and that many more people are supported to stay living well in their communities.