“You cannot believe the difference that it makes just hearing somebody in the house. Hearing movement upstairs and knowing that it's not someone breaking in or something like that. The best thing about it is somebody coming in at night, round about six o'clock.” Florence, Householder, London
In 2018, in partnership with the Department of Communities, Homeshare UK undertook a study to assess the feasibility of having an active Homeshare service in Northern Ireland.
The report concluded that Homeshare:
Read the executive summary with key findings
We are delighted to publish the Homeshare annual sector report. It is a comprehensive analysis of the national Homeshare sector, laying out the key success, challenges and priorities for Homeshare in the UK.
It reflects on the remarkable growth in public awareness of the Homeshare model after high profile media appearances and a video of Florence and Alexandra on BBC politics that has been viewed 25 million times.
The report calls for local areas to become ‘Homeshare friendly,’ and for national and local leadership to make Homeshare affordable for people on low incomes. We are also asking for Homeshare to be scaled up and developed in places where there is currently limited access to the scheme, particularly Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the North East and South East of England.
Please take the time to read the full report for full picture of Homeshare in the UK, depicted in statistics and stories of people whose lives have been transformed and enriched by sharing a home, exchanging practical help, knowledge and companionship.
If you’re on the go, you can read the executive summary for some key facts!
You can also read an the reports on the Homeshare UK website.
National and local contexts
Shelter described homelessness as affecting 81,000 households during 2013-14, of which 2,414 were people rough sleeping, a rise of 37% since 2010. An ongoing rise in officially estimated rough sleeper numbers remained evident in 2014, with the national total up by 55 per cent since 2010. At 14 per cent, the 2014 country-wide was the largest since 2011 (Homelessness Monitor Report, 2016).
Since bottoming out in 2010/11, homeless placements in temporary accommodation have risen sharply, with the overall national total rising by 12 per cent in the year to 30th June 2015; up by 40 per cent since its low point four years earlier. Although accounting for only eight per cent of the national total, B&B placements rose sharply (23%) in the most recent year. 'Out of district' placements also continue to rise, now accounting for 26 per cent of the national total, up from only 11 per cent in 2010/11. Such placements mainly involve London boroughs.
Homelessness is linked to high levels of crime, mental health issues, substance misuse, high unemployment and high levels of benefits:
As well as issues relating to offending and substance misuse, homelessness also has health implications. Homeless people have poorer health outcomes than the
general population, and an average age of death 30 years below the national average. Living on the streets or without a stable home can make people vulnerable to illness, poor mental health and drug and alcohol problems. Homeless people often seek medical treatment at a later stage during illness, leading to costly secondary health care and worsened health outcomes. This situation is exacerbated by the reduced potential for recovery due to many homeless people returning to insecure accommodation or rough sleeping after medical treatment. In some cases, accommodation may be lost during their time in hospital.
Research carried out in 2010 showed that the total cost of hospital use by homeless people is estimated to be about four times higher than the general population. Looking at inpatient costs alone, the difference is eight times higher among homeless people.
Evidence about what works
A report by the Centre for Health Service Economics & Organisation (CHSEO) in 2011 showed that projects and models which have been implemented to improve admission and discharge practice have demonstrated cost benefits in two different ways:
The first report from the Ministerial Working Group on tackling and preventing homelessness, Vision to end rough sleeping: no second night out nationwide (2011) included a commitment to improve hospital discharge for homeless people. The following year, Homeless Link and St Mungo’s were commissioned by DH to explore how the system of hospital admission and discharge was working for homeless people, and what more needed to be done to improve where the system was failing to discharge homeless people into appropriate accommodation. The report, Improving hospital admission and discharge for people who are homeless, published (May 2012) showed that more than 70% of homeless people had been discharged from hospital back onto the street, without their housing or underlying health problems being address. This was further damaging their health and increasing costs to the NHS through ‘revolving door’ admissions.
Government investment of £10million was announced in May 2013 for the Homeless Hospital Discharge Fund, for voluntary sector organisations, working in partnership with the NHS and local government, to bid for money to improve hospital discharge arrangements for homeless people. Homeless link was commissioned by DH to evaluate these projects focusing on what works in supporting homeless people from being readmitted to hospital (both through emergency and planned admissions) and securing stable housing and support after a hospital stay. The findings identified key features of effective models and practice for future replication including:
Potential outcomes achieved through Shared Lives
A Shared Lives arrangement provides an alternative option for people with a complex profile of support needs including people who are homeless or at risk of
becoming homeless. With its careful matching process, Shared Lives is ideally suited to manage such complexity in an individual way, giving the person living in a Shared Lives arrangement the opportunity to realise their full potential.
This is an area where Shared Lives has the potential to offer a unique combination of accommodation, tailored support and a relationship with a Shared Lives carer and a clear focus on building new networks and communities. This latter point is an important one to stress in terms of breaking the cycle for people coming out of rehab/prison where their networks are all based around their drug using/criminal behaviour etc. Shared Lives gives people an opportunity to build new social networks as well as providing support to look after their health, get and retain paid work and plan for the future.
Stories of lived experience
Dave is a man in his fifties who sustained head injuries inflicted by his father as a child and has experienced a lifetime of mental health difficulties. These have often presented themselves in the form of symptoms of bipolar disorder, which he is not able to recognise and manage himself. Dave has never been able to live fully independently and has spent many years living in various hostels and shelters, where he was seen as “looking like a tramp” and was very vulnerable. He has been living within Shared Lives for nine years in two very successful arrangements. Although it is possible he may never live completely independently, Dave now has a network of positive friendships and relationships and attends the local football club with the son of his previous Shared Lives carer. He dresses smartly and manages his personal care with support, receiving regular medical and dental treatment. When his mental health deteriorates it's noticed and he gets the right support.
Andrew was living in a homeless hostel before being referred to Shared Lives by his Drugs and Alcohol team. He has seizures and was generally in poor health as a result of his alcohol dependency. Within a few months his health, wellbeing and appearance improved. Previously unable to manage his money, he now has support to manage his finances. He now moderates his alcohol intake and he and his Shared Lives carer have become friends.
We are pleased to share the State of Shared Lives in England 2016-17 - a comprehensive report about the Shared Lives sector in England. The data in this report, and the analysis we've drawn from it shows us that Shared Lives is holding its own in the face of some serious challenges in the wider social care sector. In many places Shared Lives is going strong, growing, and supporting more people with different types of needs to live well. The report also shows us, however, that in some areas Shared Lives has diminished due to the significant pressures in the adult social care landscape. Above all, the document serves as a timely reminder of the vital importance of growing Shared Lives in the project to create a more human, person-centred and sustainable health and social care system.
We are delighted to be able to share an in depth review of the Shared Lives sector in Scotland over the last year.
The report provides a statistical breakdown of the number of Shared Lives carers and people being supported, as well as information about the demographics of support needs and different types of Shared Lives arrangements.
But behind the statistics, it tells the stories of real people whose lives have been changed by being supported in a Shared Lives arrangement.
The State of Shared Lives in Scotland 2018 paints a bright picture of the strength and robustness of Shared Lives in Scotland, where the model has grown again despite difficulties in the social care landscape.
We are pleased to publish the State of the Nation report for Wales 2018. Despite significant and continuing budgetary pressures, Shared Lives has grown in Wales.
The number of people being supported by Shared Lives has increased by 6%, and Shared Lives carers have increased by 15%. Several schemes, both independent and local authority run, are performing exceptionally well - leading the way in supporting older people or working within the innovative Health Initiative. The report describes the excellent work these schemes, with support from Welsh government, are doing - and describes the potential for Shared Lives to change many more lives and generate sognificant long-term cost savings to the social care budget.
The executive summary provides a snapshot of the keymessages, whilst the full report gives a detailed breakdown of the state of Shared Lives in Wales.
In a safeguarding scenario, Shared Lives carers may be the alleged source of risk, the person at risk of abuse or neglect, or the supporter of a person who is at risk of abuse. They can sometimes feel powerless and uninformed, especially if the person using Shared Lives has been moved out of their home without being consulted and / or against their wishes.
It is essential that Shared Lives carers are part of a multi-disciplinary team which is supporting the person to live a healthy and fulfilling life.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) consistently rates Shared Lives as one of the safest and most effective forms of care and support and this continues to remain the case under their new inspection regime. In The State of Adult Social Care Services 2014 – 2017, CQC found that Shared Lives services outperformed all other forms of regulated care in inspections.
We have jointly developed these top tips with ADASS, Association for Directors of Adult Social Services. They are for schemes, Shared Lives carers, health and local authorities to ensure that best practice can be followed when a person using Shared Lives is believed to be at risk of harm and/or a safeguarding concern is raised. It is essential to ensure that the person’s wishes are paramount and that the professionals involved understand the difference between a Shared Lives arrangement and other forms of care and support. Shared Lives carers can call our helpline to discuss safeguarding issues and must be Members of Shared Lives Plus to receive support.
We know Shared Lives can make a real difference to help people with dementia to live well. An independent report generated by PPL supports this, finding that Shared Lives offers several key advantages as a model of support for people with dementia..
The report found that Shared Lives carers were perfectly placed to offer respite support to family carers, with Shared Lives arrangements able to reduce social isolation and the chance of breakdown for those carers and to help increase their general wellbeing significantly. Crucially, it also said that those suffering from dementia, on average, experienced increased independence, wellbeing and personal choice, and were less likely to experience isolation and confusion in Shared Lives arrangements.
As we enter the NHS’ 70th year, personal health budgets represent an important route towards creating a more personalised and responsive NHS, enabling people to make new choices, take control and share responsibility for their health and wellbeing. Voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations (VCSE) are ideally placed to support the NHS to introduce and offer new kinds of support which can be chosen with a personal health budget.
This newly published report from Shared Lives Plus in partnership with NHS England, demonstrates how VCSE organisations are driving innovation and supporting personal health budget expansion across the country, working in partnership with statutory services to provide a range of advice, support and care services, which fit around the lives of the people and community they are designed to support.
Health commissioners, professionals and VCSE organisations are in a unique position to enable many more people to use personal health budgets, commissioning and offering new kinds of support to choose and purchase.
With close to 18,000 people now in receipt of personal health budgets, and this number on the increase, this report provides a timely set of recommendations for both VCSE organisations and NHS leaders, to help ensure that more people can benefit from comprehensive, joined up and more personalised NHS care, this year and in the years to come.
We are thrilled to report that demand for Homeshare continues to grow with a remarkable eightfold increase in enquiries plus steady growth in both the numbers of people using Homeshare (9%) and the numbers of operating schemes (37.5%) in part due to the Homeshare Partner Programme. Furthermore, several established schemes are now operating sustainably and at scale; giving us confidence in the economic model and the demand.
Our investigations for the first time capture the anecdotal impact of Homeshare on Householder’s loved ones with 99% reporting greater peace of mind since their relative’s Homeshare and 86% indicating they would recommend it. For direct participants, key impact themes include; a reduction in loneliness, improved quality of life and re-engagement with local social networks.
For Homeshare to have a significant effect on social care in the UK, support from health and social care workers and the media is needed to; raise its profile further and help older people see Homeshare as a model which can enable them to age well in place, while also giving a younger person a great start in life. Additionally, more academic research is required to demonstrate the lasting, positive outcomes suggested anecdotally for Householders, Homesharers and their networks.
Your Voice Counts (YVC) is a Charity that provides Advocacy support ‐ mostly for people with learning disabilities.
Established in 1991 they provide a broad range of services across the North East. They are a user led organization; 7 of our 13 board members have a learning disability and a Chair who is also a woman with a learning disability. They feel that it is really important that people with a learning disability are at the heart of deciding how our organization is run and how our services are delivered.
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.
The State of Shared Lives In England 2017
The Shared Lives sector has continued to grow over the past year by 580 people (5%). Since the first national survey in 2012/13 the number of people using Shared Lives has increased by 2780 (30%)
The number of Shared Lives carers has also increased in the last year by 290 (4%), an increase of 1660 (23%) since the first national survey in 2012/13.
The demographic changes that Scotland faces in the coming years challenge those of us that work in the health and social care sector to re-evaluate the way that care is delivered at a time when available resources are reducing. Integration and personalisation highlight the disparity between the services that people want and those that most can access.
Shared Lives is one of the solutions to these seemingly intractable challenges. It offers people genuine choice and control over the care and support they require whilst using resources in a very efficient way.