Minister and NHS chief back Shared Lives Plus in nationwide campaign to recruit more people into innovative form of care
Minister for Care and Support, Norman Lamb MP and NHS boss, Simon Stevens, are today (Wednesday March 4th) backing #WeShareCouldYou? - a new England wide drive to encourage more people to consider becoming Shared Lives carers.
Shared Lives is an innovative form of care where a Shared Lives carer will support an older or disabled adult in the Shared Lives carer’s own home.
People who use Shared Lives say they make more friends, are less isolated and live better lives as a result.
There are already over 8,000 Shared Lives carers supporting 10,000 people in England, but following grants from the Cabinet Office, Nesta and Big Lottery Fund, Shared Lives Plus have committed to doubling the number of people using Shared Lives over 5 years; and attracting more people to sign up as Shared Lives carers is a central part of this aim.
Securing the backing of both Simon Stevens and Norman Lamb is a major boost to Shared Lives Plus – and also represents significant recognition of the value of Shared Lives jointly to both the NHS and Social care
Alex Fox, Chief Executive of Shared Lives Plus said
“Having the backing of both Simon Stevens and Norman Lamb is a fantastic boost to our efforts to support local schemes in their recruitment of Shared Lives carers, showing how Shared Lives is being seen as a key element in the future of Health and Social care”
“The Shared Lives form of care is proven to deliver better outcomes, and deliver significant savings for local authorities compared with traditional approaches. 10,000 people across England are currently being supported in Shared Lives arrangements – but we believe there is scope to increase this figure further. By expanding Shared Lives, over £150m could be saved by councils and the NHS in England – and crucially more people will be able to enjoy the good lives that people living in Shared Lives arrangements say they benefit from”
Minister of State for Care and Support, Norman Lamb said:
“I am delighted to support Shared Lives Plus in their campaign to recruit more Shared Lives carers across the country. Shared Lives is an innovative way of providing care and support that can deliver good outcomes for the people using it. I’ve also heard from Shared Lives carers how rewarding they and their families have found their involvement.
I would encourage anyone who wants to know more to contact their local Shared Lives scheme so that all who could benefit from the support of a Shared Lives household are able to do so.”
NHS England Chief Executive, Simon Stevens added:
“We set out in our Five Year Forward View a vision for a more innovative healthcare system, in which community-based models of health and care support like Shared Lives will play an important role. Shared Lives carers share their own homes and their family and community lives with older and disabled people. Shared Lives is already helping people recover from or avoid hospital stays in some areas and I hope the Shared Lives Plus recruitment campaign will lead to the model being offered more widely. I encourage people who would like to use their health or care skills in this way, to find out about becoming a Shared Lives carer from your local scheme.”
There is a Shared Lives scheme in almost every local authority area in England, and across the country schemes are holding events, or using social media to raise awareness of Shared Lives and encourage more people to consider becoming a Shared Lives carer.
Claire and Ayisha who live in a Shared Lives arrangement with Shared Live carers Graham and Lorna said:
“Lots of people out there would love to live in Shared Lives, love to share their lives with someone. It feels like a real family”
In addition to efforts by schemes to raise awareness in local areas, existing Shared Lives carers are committing to asking other people to consider becoming a Shared Lives carer during the campaign – and in addition, social media will also be delivering the message using the hashtag #WeShareCouldYou?