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Friday, 12 August 2016 12:50

Our New NHS Project Blog!

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Scaling up Shared Lives in Healthcare Blog

Hello and welcome to a new Shared Lives Plus blog, dedicated to our “Scaling up Shared Lives in Healthcare” work.

We are the staff working for Shared Lives Plus after the recent 1.75 million pound grant from NHS England. This deal will help Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCG’s) and NHS Trusts in England to offer Shared Lives locally as an option for people as a health service. This is really exciting as it will let more people know about what Shared Lives is, but most importantly it will make sure that many more people can receive the care and treatment they want, where they want it, in family homes and communities of their choosing. Shared Lives has a strong track record as a social care service going back many years- we believe that Shared Lives provides an alternative approach to traditional health care and support. This new programme will support the NHS Five Year Forward View, and give more people with healthcare needs the choice of receiving their treatment in a community setting.

The Shared Lives model will support people who have needs which make it hard for them to live on their own, by matching them with a Shared Lives carer to share their family and lives, receiving care and support in the community. People using Shared Lives may have learning disabilities, dementia, mental health problems or other needs which require long or short term support. It will offer them the opportunity to either live with their matched and approved Shared Lives carer, or visit them regularly for day support or overnight breaks. More information about Shared Lives can be found on our website www.sharedlivesplus.org.uk

Through the programme, funding and support is being offered to CCG’s and NHS Trusts to enable:

  • People with learning disabilities to move out of medical institutions into ordinary family homes
  • People recovering from strokes and other health crises to receive their step down care in a Shared Lives household
  • People to receive live-in mental health support including acute support with Shared Lives, as an alternative to hospital-based treatment
  • People living with dementia to use Shared Lives, including day support and short breaks for family carers

We will be blogging every two weeks to keep everyone involved informed of the progress we are making throughout the programme. Our aim is to inform everyone with the information they need and present a case study each month to demonstrate the difference that Shared Lives can make to a person’s life.

In early June 2016, Fiona Clarke joined Shared Lives Plus as the NHS Programme Director. Fiona will lead a team of programme staff, which includes Jenni Kirkham, NHS Programme Officer and two part-time Regional Officers, who will be recruited in autumn 2016. Hannah Cain, Communications Assistant at Shared Lives Plus, will be providing communications support to the programme. Other staff at Shared Lives Plus will be brought in to support the programme with their particular areas of expertise, such as development work around supporting people in Shared Lives with mental ill health, young people who are transitioning from children’s to adults services, intermediate care, older people and support for Shared Lives carers.

Shared Lives Plus and NHS England will meet up regularly through the programme, these meetings are called Implementation Group meetings. The first Implementation Group meeting took place at NHS England in London on 18 July. Shared Lives Plus CEO, Alex Fox and NHS Programme Director, Fiona Clark attended. Leaders from NHS England, NHS, social care and the voluntary sector came together to and will work together to help the programme develop, grow and provide support for the Shared Lives Plus team as they roll the programme out nationally. It was a very positive meeting and a brilliant start to the programme.

We recently attended Learning Disability week 2016 in Leeds, raising awareness of our care and support model. Dipan Patel, a Shared Lives Plus Ambassador, has a visual impairment and attended the event to speak about his experience living with a family and gaining independence. Dipan was amazing and people were genuinely struck by the Shared Lives model, we gained some great feedback and first reactions, “A great way of giving people a normal life.”

Staff and Ambassadors Dipan, Lisa and a Shared Lives carer Jo went to an event in Leeds and an event in London to meet with NHS England staff and link in to their teams.

In May 2016, CCG’s and NHS Trusts in England were asked to write to us at Shared Lives Plus, to express their interest in applying for match funding to develop Shared Lives in their local area for people with healthcare needs. We applied some shortlisting criteria to each of the expressions of interest we received and have now invited a number of areas in England to write up more detailed project plans, budgets and formalise their initial ideas. We developed a pro-forma template with the expertise of the wider Shared Lives Plus team; the final touches have just been made to this and each of the areas who have been successful in the first round of the process will now use it to work up their projects to continue their applications for match funding through the programme. We hope to announce who has been successful in receiving match funding later on this year.

We are also talking with other CCG’s, NHS trusts and Shared Lives schemes regarding the support the programme can offer in other ways. So even though applications for match funding are now closed, we are still able to work across England to help organisations develop Shared Lives schemes for Healthcare. If you are interested in finding out more about the programme, or about ways in which Shared Lives Plus can support your organisation to develop Shared Lives for Healthcare, please get in touch with This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Read 1282 times Last modified on Monday, 19 September 2016 13:36

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