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Wednesday, 13 April 2016 08:30

New report shows 27% growth and ½ bn savings potential by innovative, family-based healthcare model - as NHS launch £1.75m investment programme

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Press Release

13th April 2016

New report shows 27% growth and ½ bn savings potential by innovative, family-based healthcare model - as NHS launch £1.75m investment programme

Click here to download the State of Shared Lives in England 2016

-       NHS Chief backs innovative form of care

-       Model grows impressively despite overall sector cutting back

-       37,000 people could be using Shared Lives via targeted expansion programme, including thousands of Older People, and those with dementia and Mental Health support needs

The family-based Shared Lives model, in which an adult who needs support moves in with or regularly visits an approved Shared Lives carer, after they have been matched for compatibility, has been shown to be expanding and developing rapidly, and offering potential to save the public purse over half a billion pounds.

The State of Shared Lives in England 2016 shows that the Shared Lives  approach has already grown by 27% in two years, and has the potential to save over £1/2bn in the current public service spending review period.

Over the same 2 year period the wider social care sector has contracted by 7%.

The report has been published following a national announcement from NHS England, which you can read here. It states that the Shared Lives approach is to be demonstrated and scaled up as an NHS healthcare intervention in what Shared Lives Plus believe may be a world first.

The 11,500 people now shown to be using Shared Lives in England (13,000 in UK) either live with their carefully approved and chosen Shared Lives carer as part of the Shared Lives carer’s own household, or visit them regularly for day support or overnight breaks.

The growth is all the more striking as the social care sector shrunk by 7% during the last two years.

The report illustrates that if all areas reached the level of the best performing then an additional 37,000 people would be supported in Shared Lives – and the NHS funding has the potential to help take this even further.

Shared Lives has been commissioned by councils for 40 years as a social service for people with learning disabilities, mental health problems, dementia and other support needs, and despite impressive growth in recent times, it is barely used as a health care intervention.

It is hoped that the newly announced NHS investment will move this model of care into the NHS mainstream, with funding and support being made available to local health trusts to enable:

  • People with learning disabilities to move out of medical institutions into ordinary family homes, as called for by numerous reports following the Winterbourne View abuse scandal
  • People recovering from strokes and other health crises to receive their step down care in a Shared Lives household, freeing up hospital beds.
  • Live-in mental health support including acute support as an alternative to hospital-based treatment.
  • Dementia support including day support and short breaks for family carers.
  • 6 - 10 areas to develop new NHS services on a match-funded basis. Two regions where there is most interest in the model will receive extra support as ‘accelerator regions’.

Alex Fox, Chief Executive of Shared Lives Plus said:


“The figures shown in the State of Shared Lives in England report show how Shared Lives is fast becoming recognised as an excellent, high quality and value option for local councils and, more importantly, people looking for support, so we are delighted to be working in partnership with the NHS to bring this model of care into the Health arena too”

“We already see staggering health outcomes from people visiting or living in their chosen Shared Lives arrangement, because Shared Lives carers have the time and space to get to know people really well, understanding not only what they need but also what they are capable of doing for themselves. This partnership is a fantastic opportunity for the NHS to develop a world-leading approach to community based support, which will help people live good lives, but will also save millions from under-pressure NHS budgets.”

NHS Chief Executive Simon Stevens said

“Shared Lives is a real world example of the kind of highly cost-effective community and people-centred healthcare approaches which I believe will play a much bigger part in the NHS of the future, as more care moves out of hospitals. Whether it is helping someone with a learning disability to build a full life with a network of friends and family, or enabling an older person to recover from an operation in the peace and quiet of a familiar and welcoming environment, Shared Lives challenges assumptions about what kinds of healthcare can be delivered in an ordinary family home.”


Shared Lives is increasingly well placed to offer a wide ranging solution to support in the NHS, with the report showing a diverse and developing base of people accessing Shared Lives beyond its traditional role in supporting people with Learning Disabilities. The last year saw growth in Mental Health of 17% Learning Disabilities 15%, Dementia 48%, Physical Impairment  112%, and Older People 22%.

The report also shows how Shared Lives is leading the way in terms of quality and safety – with recent Care Quality Commission inspections showing that in 20 inspections, 2 schemes have been rated “outstanding” and the rest “good”* – a record that compares very favourably with other forms of care.



*Latest overall figures in the report show 2 Outsnading, 22 good, 1 requires improvement


  1. A copy of the report is attached
  2. For more information or to arrange an interview please contact Tim Moore, Communications Manager at Shared Lives Plus on 07881 521269
  3. The State of Shared Lives in England 2016 was compiled via a survey of England’s 125 Shared Lives schemes. Shared Lives is however available in all nations of the UK, with around 13,000 people supported across the UK
  4. Shared Lives saves authorities on average £26,000 per person per year for someone with a Learning Disability support need and £8,000 for someone with a mental health support need compared with traditional approaches
  5. You can find out more about Shared Lives at www.sharedlivesplus.org.uk


Read 2272 times Last modified on Friday, 25 May 2018 21:59

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Phone: 0151 227 3499 

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