Outstanding rating for Shared Lives
A service that matches vulnerable people with carers in Nottinghamshire has just been rated as outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
Shared Lives, which is run by Nottinghamshire County Council, has a team of 63 carer households around the county who offer a mixture of long-term support – where the service user lives in the carer’s home full time – respite care and outreach services. The main benefit of Shared Lives is that the person lives as part of the carer’s family and can become involved in activities in their local community.
The CQC report stated that ‘People received a remarkable service from extremely compassionate carers, who were fully supported and exceptionally well-liked by the management team. The registered manager and care co-ordinators were very passionate about people receiving a personal service in the comfort and security of a family setting.’
Councillor Tony Harper, Chair of Adult Social Care and Health Committee, said: “This fantastic achievement is testament to the service offered by our amazing team of Shared Lives carers and also the staff who carefully match carers and service users and provide that vital ongoing support to keep the scheme working so well.
“Shared Lives offers an excellent alternative to residential care for many people – giving them the enjoyment of family life in a real home setting. We are always on the look out for more people to become Shared Lives carers, so please get in touch if you think this could be the role for you.”
Shared Lives carers receive training and are paid depending on the level of need of the person they look after. Find out more, apply to be a carer and link to a full copy of the CQC report: www.nottinghamshire.gov.uk/sharedlives
Julie Lenehan from Retford cares for Jo, 38, providing practical support which includes help with medication, day-to-day tasks and self-care. Julie is also there for Jo as a friend - providing company while watching hours of soaps on TV, going to Zumba or swimming and meeting up with friends. They also go on trips away a few times a year. Recently, they went to Fuerteventura - Jo's first ever foreign holiday - which Julie says was eye-opening and very enjoyable for both of them.
In addition, Julie is part of the Shared Lives community, and takes part in frequent training to improve her skills and connect with other Shared Lives carers through the carer events and group meetings arranged by the Shared Lives team throughout the year.
Jo has Down's Syndrome and has lived with Julie for two years now. Julie describes Jo as bubbly and full of life - enjoying most things that are offered to her. She loves dancing, attending local clubs in the community, theatre shows and avidly follows popstars such as Sam Smith and her favourite soap operas.
Julie adds: “Jo helps me to step out of my own comfort zone. We do all kinds of activities together. Jo is the favourite VIP customer of our local coffee shop and we visit as much as we can. Jo goes to the day centre three times a week and volunteers in a charity shop once a week. However, during our time together we are very active and go swimming, walking and attend the local church, amongst many other activities.”
Pictured with Julie and Jo is Shared Lives co-ordinator Deborah Chalmers.