An exciting development in Health and Social care took a major step forward this week, as Shared Lives Plus and NHS England, announced which 5 CCG areas had been chosen to share in £1.75m which will help them to develop Shared Lives as a health service. In Shared Lives, adults who need extended or long term support are matched with a Shared Lives carer who has been through a rigorous approval process with their registered Shared Lives scheme. The adult who needs support visits or moves in with their chosen Shared Lives carer, receiving personal care but also doing things they both enjoy and sharing fun and friendships. This new model of care has helped people improve their mental health, move back into the community after years in a specialist learning disability unit, or recover from a hospital stay.
Bolton, Barnsley, South Tees, Southern Derbyshire, and a partnership of Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucester CCGs (which share a Strategic Transformation Plan) were announced at a high profile reception in the House of Commons to mark Shared Lives week 2016.
The new areas will develop health focused Shared Lives support, and representatives from each area “cut the cake” on the new projects in front of an invited audience of MPs, Government Ministers, Peers and key figures from the health and social care sectors.
The projects are being supported by the Shared Lives Plus NHS project team, and you can see their take on the day here
In addition to the launch of the flagship new project, the event heard from sponsoring MP, Jonathan Reynolds who spoke about how the values and principles of Shared Lives should be mirrored by all care and support services, and also Chief Inspector of Social Care at the CQC, Andrea Sutcliffe, who congratulated everyone involved in Shared Lives on the recent achievement of securing 92% of schemes as “Good or Outstanding” in the CQC’s Annual state of Health and Social Care report.
“You set the bar high” she told the guests, as she thanked everyone for the role they play across Shared Lives.
David Mowat MP, Community Health and Care Minister sent a message of support welcoming the five new schemes and the project launch.
Shared Lives carers and people who use Shared Lives told powerful stories to the parliamentarians and guests. Shared Lives Ambassador Nick introduced Jonathan Reynolds, thanking him for his work promoting Autism Awareness in parliament, before James and Andy told their story about the benefits of Shared Lives to James’ health – and how he is now a Director of a Company helping people to make friends.
Amanda, a Shared Lives carer from one of the successful NHS areas, spoke about how she and her partner supported “J”, who has autism and a complex array of other issues, in imaginative ways which have helped him manage ‘challenging’ behaviour outside of a medical setting, so that, as he told his Mum, “I feel calm now. I feel normal”.
Alex Fox, Chief Executive of Shared Lives Plus said;
“We are delighted to announce these brand new schemes, as the centrepiece of our annual Shared Lives week. They are really putting into practice this year’s theme #SharedLivesTogether; showing how this unique model of care is joining up social care, the health service, communities and people. We believe that this approach is the first of its kind worldwide and we hope it will challenge outdated assumptions about what kinds of health outcomes can be achieved in ordinary family homes.”
“What made the announcement special was being joined by so many Shared Lives carers and people who use Shared Lives services. They are the bedrock of everything that Shared Lives has achieved so far, and it will be their continuing support and commitment that will underpin what the model and these five projects can achieve in the future.”
“I’d like to thank everyone who joined us, especially Jonathan Reynolds our host, and all our members who asked their MP to come and see for themselves what Shared Lives is like. We had our most successful year yet on this front – showing that as Shared Lives grows, so does our profile too.”
“We’ll now be building on this, to launch a new campaign to show hundreds more people what 92% good or outstanding looks like. Shared Lives has shown what is possible in social care – we now need to make sure that we spread that possibility to all who could benefit”
Shared Lives week 2016 runs until Sunday 23rd October.