The report highlights the professionalism and dedication of the health and social care workforce throughout the pandemic but notes that the system often works against them. Shared Lives carers and local schemes outshine all other forms of social care for quality and safety for the fourth year running, even though they make up just 1% of social care services. Compared to 85% of adult social care services rated good or outstanding, more than 95% of Shared Lives schemes in England were rated good or outstanding, (114 local schemes) with only 4% (five local schemes) requiring improvement.
The report also highlights the urgent need for radical changes to support for ‘Too many people with a learning disability or autism (who) are in hospital because of a lack of local, intensive community services.’ And that people ‘are detained in mental health services when this might have been avoided’.
Alex Fox, CEO of Shared Lives Plus, says, “We know that Shared Lives carers enable people to keep safe and well at home during COVID-19 without the infection risks of rotating staff teams. While the benefits of being supported in a family-style setting, in the carers’ home has reduced infection rates, it has been a huge pressure to carers who open their own homes to someone who needs support.
“We call on government and councils to sustain carers who are under pressure with great support networks, proper breaks and fair pay, and we call on local areas to bring Shared Lives care to many more people as part of our national recruitment drive.
“Shared Lives care is part of the answer to some of the most long-standing challenges that social care services face. We look to local leaders to develop new ways of working with their local Shared Lives schemes who have made great use of technology to offer support to carers and people using Shared Lives, as well as recruiting Shared Lives carers in new ways.”
Find out how Shared Lives carers support people with mental ill health, as well as autism and learning disability.