Last week, the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS) published the first in a series of two reports summarising the data from their Autumn Survey of Directors of Adult Social Services – Autumn Survey Report 2023.
The report shows that adult social care remains in a precarious position, with the sector facing cascading crises. Shared Lives Plus endorses the roadmap it sets out for the sector. The actions set out strongly align with the Social Care Future Vision:
‘We all want to live in the place we call home, with the people and things that we love, in communities where we look out for one another, doing what matters to us.’
At Shared Lives Plus our mission is for a kinder, stronger society built on people sharing their lives and their homes. The core recommendations of the report match with this mission, with Shared Lives identified as a model of care that enables more people to live in a place they call home, resulting in improved outcomes for people drawing on care:
‘In future years we need to shift to a preventative model of care that enables more people to live at home, or in a place they call home.’ (Autumn Survey Report, ADASS)
The report outlines clear actions the government can take to improve outcomes for those with care and support needs, mainly improving the capacity for community-based care, whilst also demonstrating the far reaching and secondary benefits of these actions, such as reduced expenditure for both adult social care and the NHS.
The CQC consistently rates Shared Lives as the safest and highest quality form of social care, whilst the model also offers excellent value for money compared to traditional care models. Despite this, Shared Lives accounts for just 1% of adult social care provision.
We are pleased with the report’s findings that Directors of Adult Social Care are receptive to the idea of Shared Lives; 90% of Directors indicated that increased provision would have some or a significant impact on outcomes for people, with 87% believing that greater availability of Shared Lives would reduce or significantly reduce adult social care expenditure.
Shared Lives, like other social care services, can only survive if it is properly funded. Following the Department of Health and Social Care’s (DHSC’s) list of twelve social care priorities – in which Shared Living was included – the DHSC have further announced the launch of a £42.6 million Accelerating Reform Fund. Local authorities are invited to register their interest with the DHSC, in partnership with others in their integrated care systems, to fund local innovation projects such as Shared Lives.
We are hugely excited by these developments and call upon local commissioners to register their interest in Shared Lives.