Shared Lives Service in Lancashire rated Outstanding by Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) has found the quality of care provided by Shared Lives Service in Lancashire to be outstanding following an inspection in May and June this year.     

The service provides long term placements, short breaks, respite care, day care and emergency care for adults with a range of needs, within carers’ own homes. People have the opportunity to live in an ordinary home as part of the carer’s family. Respite care is provided to people living with their own family and also to people living within a shared lives placement.

Care Quality Commission

The service operates throughout Lancashire and is the largest Shared Lives provider in the Country, supporting 11% of the Adult Learning Disability population within the Lancashire Local Authority boundary. A total of 371 people were being supported within 287 households at the time of our inspection. 227 of those were being supported on a long term basis.

The service was rated Outstanding for being effective and caring, and Good for safe, responsive and well-led making them Outstanding overall.

Debbie Westhead, Deputy Chief Inspector of Adult Social Care, said: “We found the unique care provided at Shared Lives Service, Lancashire to be outstanding.

“What really struck us about this service was how affectionate people we saw were towards their carers. We were told by people and carers alike that they considered themselves to be a family.

“The impact of this unique service was often seen in a short space of time, people’s confidence grew because of the great support they received.

“The service also worked because there were thorough recruitment and suitability tests for carers to make sure they were right for the job.”

A full report of the inspection has been published on the CQC website:

The report highlights a number of areas of outstanding practice.

The impact of the service on people’s lives, in most cases in a short space of time, showed that the ethos of the service was working well. By becoming part of a ‘family,’ people were receiving great support and growing in confidence which was positively changing their lives. From speaking with people inspectors saw and heard at first hand real stories and examples of people who had entered the service with health, emotional and social problems who had begun to address and overcome them with the support of a ‘family’ and the Shared Lives service.

Inspectors looked at recruitment processes and found the service had recruitment policies and procedures in place to help ensure safety in the recruitment of staff. Prospective employees were asked to undertake checks prior to employment to help ensure they were not a risk to vulnerable people.

When CQC visited people in their Shared Lives home it was apparent that they felt comfortable in this environment and with the people caring for them.

If you have had an experience of using the Shared Lives Service in Lancashire then share it with Healthwatch Lancashire here.