As a carer you can join for as little as £60!
If you would like to join as a Shared Lives Scheme then do get in touch with us for further information on Pricing
To join as a Shared Lives carer, you must be currently approved to provide Shared Lives care by a registered Shared Lives (or Adult Placement) scheme in the UK.
Shared Lives carers make their home available as a resource and may provide Shared Lives support to up to three people at any one time (some Shared Lives schemes have a local limit of two people).
Unlike care homes, Shared Lives carers do not employ staff to provide care to the people who they support. You can join as an individual, or with your partner, if s/he is also a Shared Lives carer.
As a member, you can expect: - Use of the free Shared Lives carers’ confidential helpline where you can obtain information advice and support from a dedicated national Carers Development Worker.
- FREE legal expenses cover (up to a maximum of £25000) if you have an allegation made against you as a Shared Lives carer resulting in you being taken to court and/or your Scheme is seekingto de-approve you as a carer.
- Free access to a legal helpline which you can use for advice on any relevant legal issue.
- Public Liability Insurance at a preferential rate as well as access to other insurance provision developed to meet the needs of Shared Lives carers.
- Three Shared Lives carer newsletters a year via post, which keep you up to date.- The opportunity to meet or get in touch with other carers, including through meetings, telephone conferences, an email group and a message board.
- A members-only area of the website containing resources which are free to members
Access to a wide range of toolkits and resources at members-only prices.
- Access to our annual Shared Lives carers’ breaks and conference.
- A conference for your home nation and/or for the UK, with a limited number of places for Shared Lives carers at supported rates.
- An open invitation to attend national network meetings (and regional meetings in England).- At least one seat on the board of Shared Lives Plus for an elected Shared Lives carer.
- A voice with local, regional and national decision makers and a programme of awareness-raising about Shared Lives and the work of Shared Lives carers.
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”
“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:
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
This blog was written by Geraldine Cooney, NHS Programme Regional Officer, for Shared Lives Plus.
Maggie who uses Shared Lives services recently asked her Shared Lives carer to write in to us and share her story. We hope you enjoy reading Maggie's story and looking at her pictures. This story is a great example of the positive impact Shared Lives can have on people's lives who have support needs and are looking to become a part of and living in a family enviroment instead of traditional forms of care.
“Hello, my name is Maggie and I have been living in Shared Lives for two years. I have really enjoyed my time being in a family and have made lots of new friends. I have also loved learning new skills, and trying out new things. This is the first time I have rode a horse and it was absolutely brilliant. I now go to eazyfit and the Odell centre, I also go to discos to see my friends. What I do love about Droitwich, is the band in the park in the summer. I have learnt how to cook with the help of my Shared Lives carers, Jackie and Kevin, and I enjoy preparing meals. Another bonus to living in Shared Lives is that I have been enjoying trips out and holidays. I have been to Lanzarote and this year we went to Portugal. Other places I have visited have been Blackpool, Coronation Street, BGT, Ironbridge, SS Great Britain to name a few. It is brilliant to live as part of a family and share our lives.”
Shared Lives carers, scheme officers and guests from all over Wales gathered at The Senedd in Wales on Monday 19th June, for a very special Shared Lives week celebration. Around 80 people, including Social Services Minister, Rebecca Evans, Assembly Members, guests from Health Boards, key people from local authority social service departments, academics and third sector colleagues attended to hear about Shared Lives in Wales. The Minister met two people currently being supported by South East Wales new Health Initiative, as well as many others being supported by Shared Lives. She gave an inspiring endorsement of Shared Lives work in Wales. There was also another promotional event in Wales on the Thursday of Shared Lives Week organised by Shared Lives carers of the Powys Shared Lives group.
Emma and Tommy O’Connor receive MBE for 50 years of caring.
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.
For Shared Lives week 2017, Lesley Dixon, CEO of Person Shared Support (PSS) writes a guest blog for Shared Lives and tells us why she believes Shared Lives should be a choice for all people with support needs.
PSS is a business with a heart that helps people change their lives for the better. We provide a range of health and social care services that help people from all different backgrounds get the most from their lives, and since we were founded in 1919, we’ve never stood still. We’re always looking for new ways to help – which, in 1978, led us to set up the UK’s first Shared Lives scheme.
Shared Lives week 2017 celebrates the diversity of people using our care model, from people with learning disabilities, people with mental ill health and long term illnesses- Shared Lives is supporting people in the UK, to live a better life in a family home.
This year’s Shared Lives week will be about spreading awareness of our care model, demonstrating that Shared Lives should be offered as a choice for all people with support needs that could benefit from using Shared Lives services.
Shared Lives carers often support people with a variety and number of support needs, the positive impact this has on people’s wellbeing is life-changing. Therefore, this year we are urging MP’s, organisations and people in social care to spread awareness, so that Shared Lives is offered to all people that could benefit from it. Whilst it may not be the right fit for every single person, we believe it should certainly be a choice for all.
Shared Lives Ambassador, Michael said: “Shared Lives carers have helped me out with emotional support, gave me someone to talk too, be healthier and I’ve been supported well, and everything I’ve learned with Shared Lives will help me in the future.”
At a time when social care is in crisis and underfunded, Shared Lives can offer an alternative for people to live in a family home, with plenty of support and increase people’s independence- all whilst saving local authorities money that is needed with budgets being cut.
We’re asking all our Shared Lives carers, Shared Lives Plus members, schemes and people who use Shared Lives services, to spread the word far and wide. So many people can benefit from Shared Lives, it’s time they learnt that there is another option out there, in a family home with support- to help people get involved in their local community and work towards their own goals.
That’s why this year’s theme is #SharedLivesChoiceForAll - we would love everyone to get involved on social media. Share your stories, tell people in your community about Shared Lives and spread the word that Shared Lives should be a choice for all people who need support, and could benefit from living in a family environment.
Throughout this Shared Lives week we are sharing stories from Shared Lives carers, people who use our services and spreading awareness throughout the country, please join us and get involved in your local areas.
SHARED LIVES IN WALES
Wales is the first of the four UK nations to have Shared Lives services across almost every Local Authority area.
Shared Lives is a regulated form of social care delivered by Shared Lives carers, who are approved by a registered Shared Lives scheme. Local authorities or Third Sector organisations can run schemes. In Wales, all schemes are regulated and inspected by the Care and Social Services InspectorateWales (CSSIW).
In Shared Lives, an approved individual or family includes an older or disabled person in their family and community life.
Shared Lives schemes are increasingly offering support more widely to people with mental health conditions, young people in transition, vulnerable adults or those suffering from addiction, as well as those with learning disabilities and older people needing support to manage their health.