This “Scaling up Shared Lives in Health” blog will focus on Bolton, where the Bolton CCG, in conjunction with GMW and Bolton Council, have been successful in receiving NHS England funding to develop Shared Lives in the area.
The new funding will enable the Shared Lives scheme, which is run by Bolton Cares (Bolton Council’s local authority trading company), to offer more arrangements for vulnerable adults to stay with trained Shared Lives carers in family homes, as an alternative to being admitted to hospital or before they return to their own home after a hospital stay.
Shared Lives is already a popular option for older people in Bolton, but this funding will mean the scheme can expand, to offer more support to people with mental health needs and offer an alternative option for people following a stay in hospital, before they return home to their own homes.
Some people have had to move outside of Bolton to receive the support they need in specialist mental health settings, but this programme will work to bring people back into Bolton, but within the support of a family home to ensure they remain safe and well within their communities.
Bolton have run a well-established Shared Lives scheme for over 30 years, and on 31st July 2016, Bolton Care and Support Ltd began trading as Bolton Cares, to continue providing a range of care and support for adults in the community, of which the Shared Lives scheme is one of the options.
The project will provide employment for 1 new co-ordinator at Bolton Cares in the first year, as well as self-employment opportunities for many more Shared Lives carers. The closing date for the co-ordinator post is 28th February, for details please see: http://www.boltoncares.org.uk/work-with-us/
Chief Executive of Bolton Cares, John Livesey, said: “Shared Lives a wonderful service that really works for the benefit of both service users and carers. The people who use our service become part of a loving family and our carers are experienced in what they do and get so much fulfilment from helping others.
“Since forming Bolton Cares as a not-for-profit company, this is the first major funding boost for us and shows commitment from our partners to developing and improving local adult social care services. We’re delighted with the outcome and looking forward to recruiting more carers and meeting new service users.”
Dr Wirin Bhatiani, Chair of NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Over the past few months NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group has been working in partnership with Shared Lives, Bolton Council and Greater Manchester Mental Health Services (GMMHS) on a bid to access match funding for a three year project with Shared Lives Plus and NHS England.
“I am delighted that Bolton has been awarded this funding as one of only five CCG areas across England and Wales. The bid concentrated on improving access to Shared Lives and as a result more positive outcomes for people with mental health needs and/or learning disabilities.”
Karen Wolstenholme, Registered Manager of Shared Lives in Bolton is “delighted with the success of being able to grow and expand services in this area and looks forward to successful “matching” which will enable people to live to their lives to their full potential in the community of their choice.”
Hello everyone and welcome to our latest “Scaling up Shared Lives in Healthcare” blog. This week we’re celebrating the work that our Shared Lives carers do in helping people with learning disabilities have the highest quality of life possible. As you may know Shared Lives Plus has recently received a £1.75 million pound grant from NHS England. This is to help CCGs (Clinical Commissioning Groups) and NHS Trusts in England to offer Shared Lives locally as an alternative approach to traditional healthcare for people.
Since our last update, Fiona Clark, (the NHS Programme Director) and Jenni Kirkham, (NHS Programme Officer) have set off on their travels around the country to visit the CCG’s and Shared Lives schemes who are interested in developing Shared Lives services within their communities . They are covering the length and breadth of the country to support the CCGs and schemes to complete the work needed to be eligible for the match funding available from NHS England to develop the scheme.
With care transforming as society and the NHS adjust to circumstances, we believe it is important that people have a choice to live a life that they are happy with, and one which is suitable for every person’s individual needs and aspirations.
We decided that the best way to show everyone how Shared Lives can have a positive and meaningful impact on a person living with a learning disability, was to let James, who has lived experience, tell you himself.
James says; “I don’t feel like I have a learning disability, but I know that I’ve got one, because of all the support I get now in Shared Lives. Before I came to Shared Lives I was not allowed to do things I could do and always needed staff with me- often doing things I could do myself. “
James has epilepsy and a learning disability. He was diagnosed with epilepsy when he was 6 years old and then until the age of 40 was in specialist care. Firstly at St Elizabeth’s in Hertfordshire, very near his family home and then residential care at the National Centre for Epilepsy in Chalfont, Buckinghamshire.
James feels he did not learn new things before he joined Shared Lives but now he has more freedom to do the things he wants to do.
The Shared Lives model will support people who have needs which make it hard for them to live on their own. This is achieved by matching them with a Shared Lives carer to share their family and lives, receiving care and support in the community. People using Shared Lives may have learning disabilities, dementia, mental health problems or other needs which require long or short term support. It will offer them the opportunity to either live with their matched and approved Shared Lives carer, or visit them regularly for day support or overnight breaks.
James’ Shared Lives carer has had a remarkable impact on his life, helping James become more confident and independent. He now feels confident to go to town and shop, have lunch in his favourite place.
James: “My life is friendlier, Andy, and others, have helped me make more friends. Andy has helped me to do more things that I can do myself now – cooking, the washing, ironing, walking out with Bronte the dog- normal stuff that everyone does.”laces and meet new friends
When Andy asked James, a few years ago, what he wanted his life to be like, the reply was ‘more friends and a job that I can get paid for’. Since then this is what James and Andy have been working towards.
Andy said: “Now, building up James’ community connections’ and using his skills to feel valued and have purpose are key to a good and happy life. The frequency of epileptic seizures has significantly decreased to the extent that he has not had a seizure for over 18 months. James says he is ‘not bored now’ and that there is’ always something to look forward to and do’. James can get up in the morning, something he just couldn’t do before and his thinking and decision making is vastly improved. However, this has not always been the case.”
A few years ago James epileptic seizures meant that he has spent time in hospitals. Between having seizures and taking his medication, James was prevented from doing much in the past and feels he was almost forgotten.
In December 2012 epileptic seizures clustered and in the next two months James had 12 hospital admissions for varying lengths of time. All local hospitals and one in North London tried totreat James. Each time more medication was prescribed that had significant impact on James without decreasing the seizures. James was put in an induced coma and spent 3 weeks in Critical Care.
He was prevented from doing much in the past and feels he was almost forgotten. We decided to ask him, if he thought that people in hospital waiting for a place to provide them with care, could benefit from Shared Lives?
Being a part of a Shared Lives arrangement provides people with a family environment, independence and allows people to live the life they want. James, with the help of Andy’s support has become a part of the community, volunteering at the local Country Market every week which he loves. He has also has just started a self- funded training post in a local shop that could lead to a job in a large supermarket.James said: “Yes, they could.” He says that when he came out of hospital, after many visits because of epilepsy, he was supported by people he knew and who knew him really well. He was in a place he felt safe and comfortable and this helped him get better. He believes other people would feel the same.
James’ life has completely changed for the better. He gives a training session to new carers about epilepsy once a month, has helped lead a workshop on Community Connecting at the Shared Lives Plus conference and is part of a team that supports health checks for Shared Lives schemes.
He presents his story, ‘Two Men and a Dog’ about how Shared Lives has changed his life, to various audiences. James is also a Co- Director, with Andy and one other, of a registered Community Interest Company, called ‘Local Social’ that aims to support socially isolated people connect with their community. Andy works with James on all these activities that use James’ knowledge and skills to develop a confident and fulfilling life.
NHS Blog - 25th August
We have recently enjoyed some annual leave and now we’re right back in the swing of things for the very busy, upcoming, next few months.
In than last couple of weeks Jenni and I have been preparing to start our visits to the CCGs and Shared Lives schemes who have been shortlisted to go through to the final round to receive match funding to develop their proposals. This has involved filling our diaries with visits around the country (it’s going to be a very busy September), and we’ll keep you all updated. We’re also preparing the detailed paperwork required to ensure we get all the information we need to make sure the final shortlist of CCGs and Shared Lives schemes are going to be able to deliver on the plans they have set out.
We’re also beginning to look at what we need to do to start evaluating the Programme to ensure we are getting the results we need to improve people’s lives and make sure we are getting best value for money from the funding provided by NHS England.
We have started to draw together the other projects that are within Shared Lives and look at how they complement, and perhaps be further developed through the NHS Programme. This applies particularly to the Mental Health Project and the Intermediate Care Project – all very exciting.
Jenni and I have recently read VODG (Voluntary Organisations Disability Group) latest thought leadership paper which is calling for closer working between the NHS and the voluntary sector. We support this paper and believe that social care providers are right to call for the voluntary sector to be recognised as central to the NHS and health system. Through Shared Lives Plus we see daily the difference having a variety of options for health care can make to people’s lives, we understand how one option may suit certain people’s needs but not everyone. Our NHS programme embodies this and we appreciate not only the funding, but the continuous support from NHS England to better the lives of patients.
We ourselves understand the challenges that working closely together may bring but we’re fully committed to our NHS programme, working in partnership and really building relationships with everyone involved in order to reach our goal of improving the lives of as many people as possible through the NHS Programme and beyond.
For any partners or readers that are interested in learning more, Rhidian Hughes, Chief executive of VODG, has written a blog about the paper which you can find here.
That’s us for the next two weeks, we hope you’re all enjoying the blog and our updates on the NHS Programme, as much as we are working on it. As usual or if this is your first time reading about our exciting NHS Programme you can read previous blogs on the links below.