New ratings show that 96% Shared Lives carers and schemes were rated good or outstanding by care inspectors in England, smashing a Shared Lives best – improving on previous ratings of 92% – and still leading the social care sector for safety and quality.
Shared Lives care is driven by the leadership in the UK’s network of 150 schemes who match people with Shared Lives carers, approved to open their own homes, to support people through tough times and enjoy life together. National data shows that sharing everyday life has transformative outcomes for people often stuck in the health and care system, with clear benefits for people’s health, independence and confidence.
But today the CQC reflects our own warning of a postcode lottery for Shared Lives support as health and social care services struggle with the pressure of funding cuts. The CQC’s State of Care report says: “Some people can easily access good care, while others cannot access the services they need, experience ‘disjointed’ care, or only have access to providers with poor services.”
We continue to call on local leaders to invest in Shared Lives care, which adapts well to the needs of local populations. Our latest Shared Lives England report shows that as our ageing population grows and by 2020, three million of us are expected to have three or more long term conditions, there has been a 24% increase in the number of older people who are supported by a Shared Lives carer. If every scheme supported as many people as the best performing, an additional 21,000 people could enjoy being part of a Shared Lives family and community each year, potentially saving councils and health trusts over £500m.
Alex Fox, CEO Shared Lives Plus, the UK’s membership network, says “We are delighted that Shared Lives schemes are proven once again to exceed all other forms of social care – which people need at times when it really matters.
Councils and the NHS need to get serious about growing Shared Lives schemes and recruiting more people to the UK’s invaluable network of 10,000 Shared Lives carers. We recognise that not all areas benefit from strong and successful Shared Lives care and we offer our leading expertise to every local leader who wants to realise their ambitions to invest in this life-changing support.
Today we are celebrating our membership network’s successes of sharing their lives and homes with people for whom our health and social care services are working well – and continue to call on government to invest fairly across the UK to drive out regional health and social inequalities.”