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Dedicated carers share their lives for an ‘outstanding’ service supporting others

25 November 2022

A carer helping an elderly woman out of a wheelchair

A service where carers across Northamptonshire share their lives and homes to support others has been rated ‘outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

The Shared Lives Service, which is managed by West Northamptonshire Council (WNC), has achieved the highest rating following its first inspection this autumn which found that “people received exceptional care and support from dedicated carers who considered them to be part of their family and vice versa.”

In their recently-published report, CQC inspectors also said that “with the right support, people flourished in all aspects of their lives, growing in self-confidence, developing skills and being able to grasp opportunities which would not otherwise have been available to them.”

The service currently provides personalised support to around 78 people countywide, with most living in carers’ own homes 24/7 in long-term placements, and others receiving respite care for shorter periods to help give families a break.

Carers provide comfortable family homes for younger adults, adults with a learning disability and older people. The idea is to give them as much independence as possible, while having a safe and secure home environment within the community. A careful matching process makes sure individuals are paired with suitable carers who will treat them as members of their family, meet their needs and provide the right support. The report, which can be read on the CQC’s website, rated the service as outstanding overall and for care and safety, with good ratings for its effectiveness, responsiveness and for being well-led. It summarised that people were ‘supported to achieve their aspirations and goals’, were ‘enabled to access specialist health and social care support when needed’ and were ‘supported to play an active role in maintaining and improving their health and wellbeing’.

“I am incredibly proud that the Shared Lives Service has received an outstanding rating from the CQC, which is testament to the amazing dedication and commitment of everyone involved.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to all the shared lives carers who are making a real difference to people’s lives through this scheme. This first thorough inspection of the service by CQC left no stone unturned and its findings reflect the hard work of all members of staff involved in making the service an ongoing success.”
Councillor Matt Golby, WNC’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health
“I am delighted that inspectors acknowledged the value of the service, which is shared through real team work and support to achieve some great outcomes for local people.

“The service is always on the lookout to recruit new Shared Lives carers and I would encourage anyone who would like to get involved to contact us. Those who are interested will be carefully assessed, trained and supported to ensure they receive the help and support they need.”
Stuart Lackenby, WNC’s Deputy Chief Executive and Executive Director for Adults, Communities and Wellbeing

Carers are paid according to the type of support they are required to provide, most are covered by special tax arrangements with HMRC and many do not have to pay income tax on their earnings. To find out more about becoming a Shared Lives Carer, visit Northamptonshire Shared Lives - Adult social services

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