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Phoebe Rowell

Phoebe Rowell

Tuesday, 11 December 2018 09:51

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MacIntyre are looking for a Frontline Manager - Shared Lives - Central Bedfordshire

Full Time (38 hours a week)
Salary: £26,142 a year
Ref: ASIV360597

MacIntyre is a national charity supporting people with learning disabilities and last year we were awarded a new contract to run the Shared Lives scheme in Central Bedfordshire. Could you be the lynchpin of this scheme as our new Shared Lives Manager?

Your first (big!) task will be to recruit 25 new families into the scheme as Shared Lives Carers. You’ll have two years to achieve this, using your skills and imagination to “sell” the scheme in a variety of ways.

You’ll lead the matching process between Carers and people being supported, who will all be adults with learning disabilities. You’ll monitor placements, developing close relationships with all concerned, as well as liaising with the local authority and other stakeholders.

You’ll have an understanding of the needs of vulnerable people, their families and carers. You’ll be a confident networker, with great communication skills. Ideally, you’ll have operational knowledge of social care support schemes.

Benefits include:

Generous annual leave allowance of 33 days (including public holidays) rising with service
Workplace pension scheme
Employee Assistance scheme to support your health and wellbeing
MacIntyre Staff Savings Scheme

Closing date: Tuesday 18 December 2018

To apply for this position please visit: Charity Recruitment


Kim and Bill Paisley Cornerstone Sarah.McPhailcornerstone.org.uk“Hi, my name is Kim, and I live with my Shared Lives carer, Bill in Paisley, who is part of Cornerstone’s Shared Lives Service. I volunteer at the local Barnardo’s shop in nearby Linwood. The thing I like most about my job is meeting customers and helping them when they come into the shop.

“Bill is always a great support for me, as I can go to him when I need help with anything. Sometimes we go shopping together, and he always drops me off and picks me up when I go to get my hair done every few weeks. Bill and I also enjoy going on holiday together. Recently we went to Ireland and stayed in a lovely place called Letterkenny. We also went on a day trip to the Giant’s Causeway. I really want to go back to Ireland one day as we had so much fun there. However, I don’t have too long to wait till my next holiday, as I’m soon heading off to Brugge in Belgium for a few days with Bill’s daughter, Susan. I’m so excited, and can’t wait to go.

“My biggest hobby and favourite past time is going to music concerts. My favourite artist is country singer Kenny Chesney. He’s never been to Scotland before, so I keep hoping he will come one day so I can go see him in concert. I’m going to see the Osmond’s, Boyzone and Keith Urban over the next few months which will all be amazing. I love Boyzone, and my favourite song is ‘Love Me for a Reason’. Bill isn’t a fan of my music, so he just chauffeurs me to and from the gigs, which is a massive help to me. I’d be lost without Bill and his family, as they look after me in a way that makes me feel like a member of their own family.”

 Become a Shared Lives carer 

Flo and Alexandra inside“You cannot believe the difference that it makes just hearing somebody in the house. Hearing movement upstairs and knowing that it's not someone breaking in or something like that. The best thing about it is somebody coming in at night, round about six o'clock.” Florence, Householder, London

In 2018, in partnership with the Department of Communities, Homeshare UK undertook a study to assess the feasibility of having an active Homeshare service in Northern Ireland.

The report concluded that Homeshare:

  • Supports older people to live independently for as long as they can in their community 
  • Is a preventative approach which supports those with low level social support needs below eligibility thresholds for statutory social care 
  • Potential to help reduce demand for social housing and make best use of existing housing stock 
  • Provides good quality low cost homes for key low paid workers and other groups who need affordable housing
  • Companionship and reduction of loneliness and isolation for both Householders and Homesharers
  • Potential to support specific demographic groups such as individuals with disabilities, refugees, older males and those with early onset dementia
  • Low-cost support option, with potential to reduce Health Trust spending on social care and new housing stock for older people
  • Supports early discharge from hospital.

Read the executive summary with key findings

Read the full report

Friday, 12 October 2018 10:59

New report shows Homeshare is growing

We are delighted to publish the Homeshare annual sector report. It is a comprehensive analysis of the national Homeshare sector, laying out the key success, challenges and priorities for Homeshare in the UK.

It reflects on the remarkable growth in public awareness of the Homeshare model after high profile media appearances and a video of Florence and Alexandra on BBC politics that has been viewed 25 million times.

Important successes

  • The number of matches has increased 42% since last year
  • The average length of a Homeshare match has increased from 12-14 months
  • Six schemes are now financially self-sustaining
  • Evidence shows that Homeshare can simultaneously tackle loneliness at all ages, low-level support needs in older people, and the lack of affordable housing


  • Homeshare is still only available to ‘self-funders’
  • Large parts of the UK and Ireland are not well served by Homeshare
  • There is still a lack of formalised referral pathways from health and social care professionals to Homeshare providers
  • Despite huge increase in public awareness, Homeshare is still relatively unknown amongst key potential supporters including; health and social care professionals and local authority front line staff.

The report calls for local areas to become ‘Homeshare friendly,’ and for national and local leadership to make Homeshare affordable for people on low incomes. We are also asking for Homeshare to be scaled up and developed in places where there is currently limited access to the scheme, particularly Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the North East and South East of England.

Please take the time to read the full report for full picture of Homeshare in the UK, depicted in statistics and stories of people whose lives have been transformed and enriched by sharing a home, exchanging practical help, knowledge and companionship.

If you’re on the go, you can read the executive summary for some key facts!

Homeshare UK annual report 2018 - executive summary 

Homeshare UK - full report 2018

You can also read an the reports on the Homeshare UK website.

HendersonsNew 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.”

Enjoy our membership support for Shared Lives carers and grow Shared Lives in your area. Find out more about how to become a Shared Lives carer and contact your local scheme. 

flu fighterNHS England have confirmed that free flu vaccinations are available in 2018/19 for Shared Lives carers who play important roles in social care, offering direct care to people using services.

Who is eligible?
Health and social care staff, employed by a registered residential care/nursing home or registered domiciliary care provider, who are directly involved in the care of vulnerable patients/clients who are at increased risk from exposure to influenza. Vulnerable means those patients/clients in a clinical risk group for flu or who are aged 65 years and over.
NHS England have confirmed that this includes staff directly involved in the care of vulnerable people who are at increased risk from exposure to influenza who are working for registered:
• residential care homes;
• residential nursing homes;
• domiciliary care services;
• Shared Lives schemes;
• extra care housing services;
• supported living services.

Where and how can eligible staff get a free vaccination?
Staff can go to their own GP practice or any pharmacy. To prove that they are eligible they will need to take identification with them that shows their names and the name of their employing organisation. This could be an ID card or badge, a letter from their employer, or a recent payslip.

Further information and resources
For more information on the free flu vaccinations for social care staff read the full announcement letter

Extract: Homelessness

National and local contexts

Shelter described homelessness as affecting 81,000 households during 2013-14, of which 2,414 were people rough sleeping, a rise of 37% since 2010. An ongoing rise in officially estimated rough sleeper numbers remained evident in 2014, with the national total up by 55 per cent since 2010. At 14 per cent, the 2014 country-wide was the largest since 2011 (Homelessness Monitor Report, 2016).

Since bottoming out in 2010/11, homeless placements in temporary accommodation have risen sharply, with the overall national total rising by 12 per cent in the year to 30th June 2015; up by 40 per cent since its low point four years earlier. Although accounting for only eight per cent of the national total, B&B placements rose sharply (23%) in the most recent year. 'Out of district' placements also continue to rise, now accounting for 26 per cent of the national total, up from only 11 per cent in 2010/11. Such placements mainly involve London boroughs.

Homelessness is linked to high levels of crime, mental health issues, substance misuse, high unemployment and high levels of benefits:

  • 45% compared to 25% in the general population, have a long term health problem
  • 41% compared to 28% and 36% have used drugs and/or 27% use or are recovering from alcohol problems.
  • 79% of prisoners who reported homelessness before custody reoffended within a year of release compared to 47% of those unaffected by homelessness.  

As well as issues relating to offending and substance misuse, homelessness also has health implications. Homeless people have poorer health outcomes than the

general population, and an average age of death 30 years below the national average. Living on the streets or without a stable home can make people vulnerable to illness, poor mental health and drug and alcohol problems. Homeless people often seek medical treatment at a later stage during illness, leading to costly secondary health care and worsened health outcomes. This situation is exacerbated by the reduced potential for recovery due to many homeless people returning to insecure accommodation or rough sleeping after medical treatment. In some cases, accommodation may be lost during their time in hospital.

Research carried out in 2010 showed that the total cost of hospital use by homeless people is estimated to be about four times higher than the general population. Looking at inpatient costs alone, the difference is eight times higher among homeless people.

Evidence about what works

A report by the Centre for Health Service Economics & Organisation (CHSEO) in 2011 showed that projects and models which have been implemented to improve admission and discharge practice have demonstrated cost benefits in two different ways:  

  • Reduced average length of stay as homeless people are more likely to be discharged sooner if their houseing and next steps are adequaterly addressed
  • Greater recovery rates through timely discharge to suitable accommodation, resulting in fewer emergency readmissions to hospital within 28 days.  

The first report from the Ministerial Working Group on tackling and preventing homelessness, Vision to end rough sleeping: no second night out nationwide (2011) included a commitment to improve hospital discharge for homeless people. The following year, Homeless Link and St Mungo’s were commissioned by DH to explore how the system of hospital admission and discharge was working for homeless people, and what more needed to be done to improve where the system was failing to discharge homeless people into appropriate accommodation. The report, Improving hospital admission and discharge for people who are homeless, published (May 2012) showed that more than 70% of homeless people had been discharged from hospital back onto the street, without their housing or underlying health problems being address. This was further damaging their health and increasing costs to the NHS through ‘revolving door’ admissions.

Government investment of £10million was announced in May 2013 for the Homeless Hospital Discharge Fund, for voluntary sector organisations, working in partnership with the NHS and local government, to bid for money to improve hospital discharge arrangements for homeless people. Homeless link was commissioned by DH to evaluate these projects focusing on what works in supporting homeless people from being readmitted to hospital (both through emergency and planned admissions) and securing stable housing and support after a hospital stay. The findings identified key features of effective models and practice for future replication including:

  • Having a model which combines access to accommodation alongside link workers. Outcomes data showed that where this was available, more clients were discharged into appropriate accomodation (93% compared to 71% overall). 
  • Making intensive support available for people once they have found accomodation is important to improve their recovery and discharge process. 
  • Clarification of the ‘client group’ that projects/schemes are intended to work with (eg rough sleepers, those at risk of homelessness, groups with specific needs such as mental health or substance misuse issues, hostel residents).

Potential outcomes achieved through Shared Lives

A Shared Lives arrangement provides an alternative option for people with a complex profile of support needs including people who are homeless or at risk of

becoming homeless. With its careful matching process, Shared Lives is ideally suited to manage such complexity in an individual way, giving the person living in a Shared Lives arrangement the opportunity to realise their full potential.

This is an area where Shared Lives has the potential to offer a unique combination of accommodation, tailored support and a relationship with a Shared Lives carer and a clear focus on building new networks and communities. This latter point is an important one to stress in terms of breaking the cycle for people coming out of rehab/prison where their networks are all based around their drug using/criminal behaviour etc. Shared Lives gives people an opportunity to build new social networks as well as providing support to look after their health, get and retain paid work and plan for the future.


Stories of lived experience

Dave is a man in his fifties who sustained head injuries inflicted by his father as a child and has experienced a lifetime of mental health difficulties. These have often presented themselves in the form of symptoms of bipolar disorder, which he is not able to recognise and manage himself. Dave has never been able to live fully independently and has spent many years living in various hostels and shelters, where he was seen as “looking like a tramp” and was very vulnerable. He has been living within Shared Lives for nine years in two very successful arrangements. Although it is possible he may never live completely independently, Dave now has a network of positive friendships and relationships and attends the local football club with the son of his previous Shared Lives carer. He dresses  smartly and manages his personal care with support, receiving regular medical and dental treatment. When his mental health deteriorates it's noticed and he gets the right support.

Andrew was living in a homeless hostel before being referred to Shared Lives by his Drugs and Alcohol team. He has seizures and was generally in poor health as a result of his alcohol dependency. Within a few months his health, wellbeing and appearance improved. Previously unable to manage his money, he now has support to manage his finances. He now moderates his alcohol intake and he and his Shared Lives carer have become friends.

"Sharing everyday life got me through tough times" - Susan's story

For more information about developing a Shared Lives scheme to support people who experience homelessness, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 07739819825

"I was living in Derby when my relationship got worse and turned more violent. I turned to alcohol as an escape and ended up living on the streets. The police picked me up and took me to hospital. I was in a bad way. After my detox, the mental health team were talking about me returning home and going to a day centre for support. But my ex-partner was still around, so I didn't really want to go home. That was when I first heard about Shared Lives scheme. They were in the meeting and suggested that living with a Shared Lives carer in a nearby area, could be a better option. It sounded safe, and I'd get the support I needed, but I'd still be able to live my own life. But even that wasn't straightforward.

The hospital team said I wouldn't be able to go home, which I agreed with, but they wanted to put me in long term care home. I really didn't want to be put away. The Shared Lives team attended another meeting - a multi-disciplinary team meeting - at the hospital and explained that they could support me to live in a Shared Lives carer’s home, for two or three months.

They would support me to become more confident, look after myself and hopefully, I'd be well enough to return to my own home. I was nervous about living with a family I didn't know, but I met my Shared Lives carers and visited their home. They were lovely. It felt safe and I decided I'd be able to get on with them. It felt like a calm place, but I'd have my own space - they were so supportive. 

Shared Lives in Derby were also able to set me up with another Shared Lives carer, who I could go and visit in their home two days a week, which was closer to my own. I got back in the community, going to the shops, and finding local support groups. I'm so glad of Shared Lives support. Without them I wouldn't feel my normal self. Their friendship, sharing their everyday life and support has got me through some tough times and back on my feet." 

SafeLives, our partner launched a spotlight on domestic abuse and mental health and homelessness. It shows that 32% of women said that DA contributed to their homelessness. We also know that homeless women with mental ill health are more likely to have slept rough than those without – 76% compared to 54%. 

A report from NDTi says that "Shared Lives has the potential to offer a unique combination of accommodation, tailored support and a relationship with a Shared Lives carer and a clear focus on building new networks and communities."

Find out more about how Shared Lives carers can support people who experience homelessness and domestic abuse or contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 07739 819 825. 

Steve tells us his story:

“I was living with my partner, running a B&B when I had a serious stroke and later two minor heart attacks.

After four months in hospital, I was depressed, frail and my memory and cognition had deteriorated. We knew I needed more support with daily living than my partner could provide. I was unable to return home and it made me frightened about my future, with clinicians uncertain about my further recovery.

I wanted to live locally, so I could continue seeing my partner and I missed my dogs. The Shared Lives scheme matched me, with two trained and approved Shared Lives carers who shared my sarcastic sense of humour, had dogs, and lived close by. They helped me through it all.

When I arrived at their home, I never dreamt of being so independent again.

I couldn’t walk down the drive. Now I can nip up to town. My Shared Lives carers helped me gain strength and confidence, walking a little bit further each time, until I could walk independently again.

They helped me adapt to my memory loss with strategies for managing money and banking, and supported me to make meals and manage my diet.

Since then I have booked a holiday and travelled on my own. I am very optimistic about life and planning a move into my own flat.

Without the Shared Lives scheme I would have undoubtedly spent longer in hospital, had less choice about where I lived, and had a slower recovery. It is so important that money is available to ensure that schemes like this exist.”

Find out more about Shared Lives in health

Read about Meg's journey to mental health: 'We need to give more people the chance of happiness like Shared Lives gave me"

More Shared Lives stories

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