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    • Innovative and growing form of care passes “Mum Test” with flying colours according to Chief Inspector
    • CQC 3 year “State of adult social care services report” focuses on Shared Lives as showing strong leadership, positivity, with an open and transparent culture, and users well supported
    • 91% of Shared Lives schemes inspected were rated “good or outstanding” beating the care sector average of 79%
    • Government must now invest in Shared Lives to make sure all areas can reach level of the best says Charity Chief

Shared Lives Plus, the UK Network for Shared Lives and Homeshare, has today welcomed findings from the Care Quality Commission that show the Shared Lives model of care as leading the sector in terms of performance.

The Care Quality Commission’s “State of adult social care services 2014 -17” report illustrates initial findings from their programme of comprehensive inspections into Adult social care, and Shared Lives comes out top of the class – securing a special focus in the report after 91% of its schemes were rated as good or outstanding – with none inadequate.

Overall, even with the inclusion of Shared LIves, the care sector only secured 79% good or outstanding ratings, with some other forms of care performing consistently lower overall.

Chief Inspector of adult social care, Andrea Sutcliffe highlights how the “Mum Test”* has guided the work of the CQC over the relevant period – and the report findings show Shared Lives consistently meeting these ambitions, with leadership, transparency, high quality support and positivity key elements of the approach.

Chief Executive of Shared Lives Plus, Alex Fox OBE said:

“As the inspectors’ three year report highlights, Shared Lives services are particularly caring and responsive, and this enables Shared Lives carers and the people who live with or visit them to achieve incredible things, which other services don’t think are possible.”

“There are currently no inadequate Shared Lives schemes in the whole of England and none requiring improvement on the caring rating. 91% are good or outstanding.”

“There is a Shared Lives scheme in almost every part of the UK, but some are tiny. Government should invest now to ensure that all reach the scale of the Lancashire scheme, supporting hundreds of people. This would increase the number of people using Shared Lives from just under 12,000 in England to well over 30,000, saving millions whilst offering people happier, safer lives”

Alex added:

“The government’s planned consultation on care cannot focus only on its funding: it must also look at how that money could be better spent.”

 “I’d like to thank everyone in the Shared Lives family for all they have done to secure these excellent results. As the UK network representing Shared Lives, we will now use this fantastic report as further evidence of the value of Shared Lives, and continue to push the government to work with us, and local schemes, to make this amazing approach to care available to all who could benefit.”


*The report cites the Mum Test as being ""To make sure that our regulatory approach is truly personalised, I want us to consider for every service we look at - is this good enough for my Mum (or any other member of my family)? If it is, that is fantastic. If it's not then we need to do something about it."

Notes for Editors:

    • For more information or to arrange an interview with a representative of Shared Lives Plus, please contact Tim Moore, Communications Manager on 07881 521269
    • Shared Lives schemes operate across all areas of the UK. The jurisdiction of the Care Quality Commission covers England only with other bodies performing the regulatory function.

Wednesday, 05 July 2017 11:31

As easy as ABCD…?

2017 started well for me - a new job with Shared Lives Plus – as Regional Officer for the NHS England funded programme. With the overstretched NHS in the news almost every day, it seemed an ideal time to be part of a project, exploring alternatives to traditional hospital and/or residential care for people with health needs. The idea that health and happiness are interlinked may be radical for the NHS, but for most of us it is obvious that a good home and living situation will improve your health and well-being.

In January, I met with colleagues from Shared Lives Plus, along with Shared Lives carers and ambassadors at our Awayday in Liverpool. I was struck by the positive energy, skills and commitment in the room. I went away wondering why the Shared Lives model is so little known about, when it can offer so much to Shared Lives carers, families, people in Shared Lives and health and social care providers, as well as to the wider communities in which we all live.

Since then, I’ve been finding how hard everybody involved in Shared Lives works to be able to offer and nurture these unique arrangements. I’ve started to understand the resources and skills we have in Shared Lives scheme staff, Shared Lives carers and the people who use Shared Lives. The Shared Lives Plus report A Shared Life is a Healthy Life illustrates the many health benefits of living in a Shared Lives arrangement, and shows how many Shared Lives carers already support people’s health needs day to day, as they would a family member. The knowledge and expertise that Shared Lives carers have built up in this way, is a resource that we will need to draw upon to develop the work of the NHS programme. For example, one Shared Lives carer in North Somerset produced her own list of do’s and dont’s based on her experiences of people with dementia. We hope to involve experienced and proactive carers like this in peer training where good practice is shared.

Recognising and valuing the contribution of our experts by experience, and ensuring that this project is co-created by people with understanding and knowledge from the ‘bottom up’ will be important to ensure the success of our NHS programme. This is not just about doing something new, but involves doing more of what we do already, and shining a spotlight on what Shared Lives arrangements are capable of in terms of peoples’ health. Shared Lives recognises the strengths of people and communities and I think it embodies the Asset Based Community Development (ABCD) approach. ABCD sees individuals and citizens as producers of health and wellbeing within the community, rather than as recipients of services. This is a different approach to traditional health and social care services because it asks the question ‘what makes us healthy?’ rather than ‘what makes us ill?’

Shared Lives Plus has received funding for this project from NHS England, and we are currently working with five Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) as part of the match funded programme (there are more to come). The hard reality is that NHS England and the CCGs will want to see savings to the NHS budget arising from their investment in Shared Lives; and we have appointed our evaluators (the New Economics Foundation) to help us with this. I’ve been discovering more about the inside workings of the NHS from attending CCG meetings, learning about integrated care services, commissioning, health budgets, referral and care pathways. I’ve been finding that the NHS is awash with jargon –abbreviations bounce around in these meetings until your head is spinning. To calm my nerves I have produced a short jargon buster for people in Shared Lives new to the NHS. I referred to a very helpful and much longer jargon buster produced by Think Local Act Personal . See link(https://www.thinklocalactpersonal.org.uk/Browse/Informationandadvice/CareandSupportJargonBuster/)

Definitions and language are important, but I’ve also been discovering that the right words are not always followed by the right actions. The NHS seems committed at policy level to person centred care and support building on peoples assets, but the reality is that health and social care services and funding streams are not as flexible and integrated as they might appear and the focus remains on services to fix problems. We all need to be careful of assuming that real change will follow good intentions. This is why we need the input of the people on the ground who can tell us what they know and what they need and how and if change is being delivered and experienced.

I look forward to meeting more Shared Lives scheme workers, Shared Lives carers and people who use Shared Lives in the coming months, as we steer our way together through uncharted waters in this exciting project.

Geraldine (Gerry) Cooney


Tuesday, 27 June 2017 15:59

Communications Manager



Accountable to:    Chief Executive Officer

Salary:                  £38,117

Hours:                   37 hours a week

Location:              This job is based in the Shared Lives Plus Liverpool Office.

Shared Lives Plus is the UK network for Shared Lives and Homeshare. Our members are Shared Lives carers and workers, and Homeshare programmes.

Shared Lives is a radical form of care and support that centres on sharing home, family and community life. Its innovative approach sees Shared Lives carers share their own home and family life with an older or disabled person, as an alternative to traditional care services.

We are looking for an experienced communications professional who will contribute to the strategic development of the organisation’s communications team and work; working with colleagues to explore new sources of funding and contribute to fundraising.

The postholder will:

  1. Support a communications assistant, raising awareness through the traditional media, trade press, and social media.

  2. Support a communications assistant to market membership to potential members, including those from under-represented groups.

  3. Ensure delivery of our publications, members’ magazine and regular bulletins.

  4. Promote engagement, participation and communication amongst existing members.

  5. Support the Shared Lives Plus team with effective internal communications.

  6. Contribute to the organisation’s growth and sustainability.

This role line manages two assistants and also involves hands-on delivery of communications support to a busy team, managing external and internal communications for Shared Lives Plus and its members. The postholder will support Shared Lives Plus in its work with both the Homeshare and Shared Lives sectors, working to raise awareness through the traditional media, trade press and social media and marketing membership to potential members including those from under represented groups as well as promoting engagement, participation and communication amongst existing members.

Shared Lives Plus is committed to equality of opportunity for all staff and applications from individuals are encouraged regardless of age, disability, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief and marriage and civil partnerships.

If you think you have what we need download the following application pack. Communications_Manager_advert.doc Communications_Manager_JD_and_PS.doc Application_Form_-_comms_manager.doc

Deadline for completed applications 12.00 noon 19th July 2017

Interviews to be held on 26th July 2017

For further information please contact Alex Fox OBE, Chief Executive at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Reg Charity No (Eng & Wales): 1095562                

Reg Charity No (Scotland)SC042743

Company No: 4511426                www.SharedLivesPlus.org.uk

Development Officer (young people in transition).

Salary Scale:                    £32,966 per annum (pro rata: actual £20,047)

Accountable to:               Development Manager

Hours:                              22.5 hours a week

Duration:                          2 years

Location:                          Home based with travel

Shared Lives Plus is the UK network for Shared Lives and Homeshare. Our members are Shared Lives carers and workers, and Homeshare programmes.

Shared Lives is a radical form of care and support that centres on sharing home, family and community life. Its innovative approach sees Shared Lives carers share their own home and family life with an older or disabled person, as an alternative to traditional care services.

We are looking for a Development Officer who will

    • Support our members who are Shared Lives scheme managers and individual Shared Lives carers, safeguarding the values, quality and safety of the sector during a period of growth and change.
    • Support growth, diversification and development in the sector, developing new national partnerships and supporting the formation of local partnerships, with a particular focus on support to young people with care and support needs in transition to adulthood and their family carers.
    • Work with policy makers, particularly in the field of transition for young people and their support, inclusion and empowerment.
    • Raise income and funds for the continuation and expansion of our work.
    • Contribute to the effective administration of Shared Lives Plus.

Shared Lives Plus is committed to equality of opportunity for all staff and applications from individuals are encouraged regardless of age, disability, sex, gender reassignment, sexual orientation, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief and marriage and civil partnerships.


If you think you have what we need please download the following documents





Deadline for completed applications 12.00 noon 14th July 2017

Interviews to be held on 25th July 2017

For further information please contact Susan Eley, Development Manager at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Reg Charity No (Eng & Wales): 1095562                

Reg Charity No (Scotland)SC042743

Company No: 4511426                                                   www.SharedLivesPlus.org.uk


Shared Lives has inspired James and Andy to start a new community project connecting people in their community

“It makes me feel happy when I help other people. I feel ‘like everybody else’ when I do work for Local Social, Shared Lives Plus and join local clubs like Karate. It’s good to do things for myself.”

Shared Lives carer, Andy Cooke and James who he supports through Shared Lives, have started a project called ‘Local Social’ to connect people in their community.

James has lived with Andy since 2010, before he came to Shared Lives James lived in residential care.

James and Andy were inspired to start the community project after Andy enquired about enrolling James on a befriending scheme in their community.

Shared Lives carer, Andy Cooke told us: “I was told there was a three year waiting list! This wasn’t right and when I researched, I found there were 80 people who had asked for a befriender- so I and James came up with the idea of connecting people up in our community for friendship. We did some more research, talked to lots of people and set up ourselves as Local Social CIC. Karin, who does not use Shared Lives services, but in many ways is just like James, is the other Director.”

James and Andy do a lot of work with Shared Lives and they saw this as an opportunity to use their experience to help people in the community connect and build friendships.

James says:It is about choosing the things that I like doing and going to places I want to go to. Being able to make decisions for myself, with some help if needed. Living where I want to, in a house that I choose and a life that is friendly and also improves my health. Choosing and making new friends is very important to me and I have been able to do this with Shared Lives, and now I am helping other people through Local Social.”

When Andy first met James he asked what he wanted out of life, James’ reply was “more friends and a paid job.” Andy supports James to work towards achieving these goals. Local Social has been a great way for them both to work together.

Andy: Yep. Until then been in specialist residential care. 40 years old in 2010Yep. Until then been in specialist residential care. 40 years old in 2010There was a need for Local Social, so many organisations were running trips, often a long way away- but not getting people to connect. People like James were just waiting for the next trip and sometimes doing things that they didn’t want to do. I had done a lot of work on building community capacity and I am convinced that this is the way forward. We began to trial it with the Shared Lives group. People like James just need a bit of help to get social connections going and then have some input themselves. Basically, everyone we spoke to thought the idea was great!”

Andy says that the inspiration to start Local Social was James, he said: “He had been in specialist residential care, just about all his life, and it was what he needed. The work we have done with Shared Lives Plus at conferences and public speaking has given us both confidence. James has benefitted enormously in confidence, self- esteem and being valued.”

Andy’s role with the project is to come up with ideas, distribute information and to spread the word about Local Social. James is the ‘expert with experience’ as he understands what it can feel like to ‘need help, to be lonely and bored’ he knows about ‘social care’ which is so important for the Local Social project. James says the thing he enjoys most about being a part of Local Social is ‘being involved to help people.’

James has had a really positive transformation since he joined Shared Lives and met Andy, going from institutionalised life to building a life in the community- his health has improved significantly.

Andy said: “James did it himself but he just needed a bit of help along the way from Shared Lives.”

The project is only just beginning but James and Andy hope it will have an impact on their local community and others in the future.

Everyone at Shared Lives wishes them the best of luck on their adventure.


You can read our latest Shared Lives in Northern Ireland Newsletter here


For more information please contact Frank Johnston on 07392 313502


Shared Lives Plus has today launched the State of Shared Lives in England 2017 – with a call for a national campaign to raise awareness of Shared Lives.

You can see the Community Care article here and download the main report here. pdfFinal State of Shared Lives in England

Shared Lives Plus would like to thank all Shared Lives carers, schemes, and people who use Shared Lives services for everything they do to help develop and promote the model, and we look forward to working with you all make Shared Lives grow even further in the coming years.


Tuesday, 09 May 2017 13:59

Development Officer - Scotland

Development Officer

Salary:     £32,966 pro rata (actual £13,364)

Hours:      15 hours per week

Location: Home based in Scotland with travel

Fixed Term to March 31st 2020

Shared Lives Plus is the UK network for Shared Lives and Homeshare. Our members share their own family homes, helping disabled and older people to live good lives in a place they feel they belong.

We are looking for an outstanding person to support growth, diversification, and development in the Shared Lives sector for people with learning disabilities in Scotland.

You will support our members during a period of growth and change by developing resources and communities of interest. You will help members embed our Quality Framework and My Shared Life outcomes measuring tool in their work. You will work with key stakeholders, commissioners, and policy makers to raise awareness of the Shared Lives model.

We are looking for someone who has a commitment to empowering people who use services and their families, and has development experience when working with people with learning disabilities. You will be self-motivated and an excellent communicator who understands Shared Lives and the philosophy underpinning our work.

Shared Lives Plus is committed to equality of opportunity and is keen to increase the diversity of our team.

If you think you have what we need please download an application pack along with this Job Description and Person Specification

For further information please contact Ben Hall, Development Manager - Scotland, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Deadline for completed applications 12 noon 8th June 2017

Interviews to be held on 16th & 21stth June 2017



Reg Charity No (Eng & Wales): 1095562                                                  Reg Charity No (Scotland)SC042743

Company No:  4511426     

Friday, 28 April 2017 14:53

The State of Shared Lives 2017

You can see here the State of Shared Lives 2017

Wednesday, 26 April 2017 08:44

6 Innovations in Social Care

Shared Lives Plus gave a cautious welcome to the Green Paper plans announced in the recent budget – you can see Alex Fox's thoughts here.

At Shared Lives Plus we believe the Green Paper has to be about more than a new funding mechanism – important as that is. For it to be a success, it needs to embrace transformation, and consider outcomes and values, as well as financial sustainability.

We know that there are a number of ways in which this can, and is already being achieved in some areas, and an informal coalition of likeminded partners have put together the following document to signpost the art of the deliverable and the possible.

YOu can see more 6innovationsinsocialcare1.pdf

You can see more here


Page 1 of 9

HOLIDAY STORIES – Share your holiday experiences here!


August 2015

Geoffrey visits Suffolk!

In August 2015 Geoffrey from the Ealing Shared Lives scheme went on Holiday to Suffolk to stay with Sally and Brian. The fortnight was packed full of activities.
Geoffrey’s visit took in Thorpness, ships at Felixstowe, Ipswich Museum, and Framlington Castle. Ice Creams were shared, walks taken and there was even a trip to see the BBC Concert Orchestra!

Geoffrey experienced the camper van lifestyle – along with the family dogs, ate fish and chips and drank tea in the open air, and overall a fantastic time was had by all.
Catherine from Ealing Shared Lives scheme tell us that “Geoffrey had a lovely time with Sally and Brian. His carer said he keeps talking about his stay in Suffolk”

You can read the full story and look at the holiday snaps in this document here. Geoffreys_holiday.pdf


June 2015 

Joe Waring is a holiday carer in Norfolk, who with his family support up to nine different individuals each year, mostly from the London borough of Wandsworth. Most people come several times a year and sometimes with a friend.
Joe wrote about two people who come for holidays.

June, who is 52 years old, comes to stay 6 or 7 times a year, having first come about 6 years ago. She sometimes comes on her own, and sometimes with a friend. She is very close to her mother and brother, and I think she likes being part of another family: myself, my wife and our 18 year old daughter. June’s mother is also reassured that the care for June focuses on her individual needs. June is very sociable and has a great sense of humour. She loves meeting our friends either at our house or theirs, and having a laugh, sharing stories and food and, I’m afraid, sharing a glass of wine, too! We go out every day to somewhere of interest in Norfolk, either in Norwich, where we live, in the nearby Norfolk Broads countryside, or to the coast. June particularly likes seeing the horse she recently “adopted” in a local horse sanctuary, and going to the amusements at Great Yarmouth. June always brings enough money to buy presents from Norfolk for her family and friends back in London.

Jack has also been coming to us for about 6 years. He always brings a pool cue and enjoys going to the local ten-pin bowling alley to bowl and play pool. He has been beating me at both for all of those 6 years, and I’m getting a bit tired waiting for his luck to run out! Jack especially likes our dog, Daisy, and volunteers to join us walking her every day. Like June, who he sometimes comes with, Jack is very sociable and always wants to meet our friends and family. He will sometimes help prepare a meal for a dinner party, and likes to dress up for the occasion in his best clothes. Jack likes going to museums- there are some great ones in Norfolk- and has recently gone a couple of times to the local cathedral to light a candle in memory of his father. Before he first did this, Jack had never gone into a church since his father’s funeral 10 years previously. Although Jack usually stays with a friend, he always comes on his own a few weeks before Christmas, when he buys presents for all his family, and wraps and tags them all carefully before taking them home.

Thanks Joe for sharing the stories and offering wonderful holiday experiences