A new report due to be launched in the House of Commons this week, backed by NHS Chief Simon Stevens, is set to show how an innovative form of care in Surrey is helping to transform lives by keeping people healthy, providing effective home from hospital care, and preventing avoidable trips to Accident and Emergency Departments.
Surrey Shared Lives scheme is one of 150 schemes across the UK supporting Shared Lives carers to share their home and family life with adults who need support.
There are 46 Shared Lives carers in Surrey supporting 44 adults, with learning disabilities, mental health support needs and dementia related conditions. Many were surveyed as part of the report.
“A Shared Life is a Healthier Life” shows how Shared Lives has helped participants reduce dependency on community nursing services, stop taking unnecessary epilepsy medication, and one gentleman who previously had monthly avoidable trips to hospital has not needed to attend A&E since moving in to Shared Lives.
Three quarters surveyed had received positive feedback from an NHS professional about the difference Shared Lives had made to the health of the person they support, and 87% reported positive impacts on mental health.
Michelle Williams, Shared Lives Manager for Surrey said: “Our focus for Shared Lives week is to try and raise the profile of this fantastic service within the community and to recruit new Shared Lives carers to join our scheme here in Surrey.”
Andrew Reed, is a young man in his early 20’s with a learning disability, who has been supported by the Shared Lives scheme. Before living with Nanda and Padma Veerpen, Andrew would often find himself in trouble due to the company he kept. Andrew moved in with Shared Live carers Nanda and Padma two years ago, which enabled him to be in a safe and supportive home environment. Since living with Nanda and Padma, Andrew has got himself a part time job working for a high street retailer, and enjoys leisure activities such as going to the gym and bowling.
Speaking of his time involved with the shared lives scheme, Andrew said: “Nanda and Padma have been a great support to me, and they are like my second family. Since living with them my independence and confidence in myself has improved a lot.”
The Shared Lives scheme has enabled Andrew to achieve one of his dreams, and with the support of Nanda and Padma, Andrew travelled to Mauritius on holiday and thoroughly enjoyed himself.
Alex Fox, Chief Executive of Shared Lives Plus said: “Shared Lives carers across Surrey will recognise the many fantastic health benefits of Shared Lives that this report outlines. It’s fantastic that Simon Stevens has offered his support to our efforts to have more people able to receive the kind of care they want, where they want it. I’m delighted that Shared Lives here in Surrey are playing their part in Shared Lives week as we seek to raise awareness across the UK of this unique and successful form of care.” home based care to health of people
“The foundation of the success of Shared Lives is the process by which schemes match people together making sure they share interests, values and experiences. Getting on well together is the basis of any successful partnership and by making sure this happens Shared Lives is able to deliver the benefits that the report shows. It’s great to see people here in Surrey celebrating this unique element of Shared Lives”
In addition to the launch of the report, Shared Lives carers in Surrey will be promoting #AllAboutTheMatch – a celebration of the matching process unique to Shared Lives, where Shared Lives carers and people who choose Shared Lives as a care option will be matched for compatibility, interests and experiences before moving in together.
Shared Lives week 2015 runs from 17 – 25th October. Participant will be tweeting #AllAboutTheMatch to show how Shared Lives has matched them with new people, experiences and achievements.