Our Response to ADASS Report
2 July 2014
Look locally to help tackle care crisis says national charity
- Build on existing local success of Shared Lives to help tackle care crisis
- Savings of £150m possible through expanding Shared Lives provision
A leading charity supporting an innovative home based form of care for older and vulnerable adults is calling on local authorities and health services to “look locally” when seeking to find solutions to the care crisis outlined by the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services yesterday.
ADASS warned that cuts of 26% combined with increasing demands for support, are making the social care system unsustainable, and the organisation called for a national debate on “how much, in times of the most severe adversity, vulnerable people should be protected from the consequences of that adversity by the introduction of new money into social care.”
Shared Lives is a home based form of care where Shared Lives carers support older, disabled and vulnerable adults in the Shared Lives carer’s own home, often as an alternative to traditional approaches such as residential care. There are already Shared Lives schemes in almost every Local Authority area in the country, and recent independent report illustrated the potential for Shared Lives to grow further, providing savings of £150m per year to the NHS and Councils in England.
Alex Fox, Chief Executive of Shared Lives Plus said: “The Association of Directors of Adult Social Services leaders are right to warn of the growing challenge to the sustainability of the social care system presented by ongoing budget pressures, combined with an increase in the number of people seeking support. They are also right to call for a national debate on how best to support older and vulnerable people”
“However, whilst funding is an important element of this debate, we must also focus on the continuing development of examples of care that deliver significant savings as well as benefits to people seeking support”
“In almost every local community, Shared Lives carers are already providing quality, home based and person centered care for older, vulnerable, or disabled people, in the Shared Lives carer’s own home. People who live in Shared Lives arrangements say they feel less isolated, make friends and live better lives as a result. The approach also offers significant savings for cash strapped local authorities and Health Services.”
Shared Lives Plus are working with the Big Lottery Fund, and the government to double the number of people using Shared Lives over the next 5 years, and Alex added; “Innovative options like Shared Lives are of course, only part of any solution to the crisis ADASS outline. It is a hugely positive step that so many local authorities and health services are already working with Shared Lives carers, those in need of support, and Shared Lives Plus to develop practical solutions to the care and support challenge we face. However, by developing this successful approach even further we can begin to tackle the crisis effectively at a local, community and person centred level”
For media enquiries or to arrange an interview please call The Communications Team on 0151 227 3499 or Tim Moore on 07881 521269.
Shared Lives Plus is the UK network of family-based or very small scale care, support and inclusion approaches for disabled or older people. Our membership of 4,800 includes Shared Lives carers and local Shared Lives schemes.
In Shared Lives, an adult (and in some cases 16 or 17 year old) who needs support and/or accommodation moves in with or regularly visits an approved Shared Lives carer, after they have been matched for compatibility. Together, they share family and community life. In many cases the individual becomes a settled part of a supportive family, although Shared Lives is also used as day support, as breaks for unpaid family carers, as home from hospital care and as a stepping stone for someone to get their own place.