Our CEO Alex Fox recently appeared on BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours alongside two Shared Lives carers. We were pleased to be able to represent Shared Lives on such a large platform and we hope that the programme highlights some of the problems within the sector that we have been raising for many years.
You can listen to the programme on the BBC Sounds website.
Social care funding is set by government and handed to local councils – the amount each council gets varies, which makes it difficult to set terms and conditions nationally for social care. This in itself is a national issue for the whole sector.
We strongly advocate on behalf of Shared Lives carers, supporting schemes to talk to their Heads of Service and Commissioners who set the budgets in an area. And we have been working with schemes and councils over the years and throughout the pandemic. It’s frustrating that changes in pay and conditions take time, particularly when changes on the ground for Shared Lives carers can happen so rapidly.
A minimum of minimum 28 days respite has been the accepted good practice standard for many years in the sector. The biggest issue we hear from Shared Lives carers is that these breaks are not always available or practical, and our key concern has been in ensuring that Shared Lives carers can get the respite that they are already entitled to. Our position reflects our current best practice guidelines developed with Shared Lives carers and schemes across the UK
We recently had a very constructive meeting with Unite and will continue to liaise with them. Our organisations have different roles and approaches, but we share the desire for better conditions for Shared Lives carers.