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Shared Lives South West Outstanding

Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating


Updated 5 March 2019

About the service:

Shared Lives South West (referred to throughout the report as Shared Lives) is registered to provide personal care for adults who may have learning disabilities, mental health needs or physical disabilities, and for older people. Placements are made on a short or long-term basis, including respite and a holiday service, with people living with their carer in their home as part of the family. The service also supports parents with learning disabilities and provides a ‘home from hospital’ service. Shared Lives South West provides services across Devon and Cornwall and is a registered charity and a not for profit company.

Throughout the report the term carer(s) is used to identify the Shared Lives care workers as this is the term used by the service and familiar to the people being supported.

People’s experience of using this service:

• We found the service remained outstanding in the personalised support provided to people and carers. Without exception people told us they felt very much part of the family. They shared family celebrations and the family celebrated important events in their lives. One person told us, “We’re a family” and another said, “It’s fantastic.”

• People were safe and received the supported they needed to gain new skills and confidence to become more independent. Relatives told us they had complete faith and trust in the carers and Shared Lives staff. Their comments included, “I completely trust them”, and “From the word go, I was reassured that there was someone there to look after him.”

• People were fully involved in decisions about their care and support. The service regularly reviewed people’s needs to ensure these were fully understood and support plans reflected this. Where necessary health and social care professionals were involved in supporting people and their carers with guidance and advice about how to meet people’s support needs. The service was able to demonstrate the positive impact Shared Lives support has had on people.

• The service had a strong commitment to social inclusion. People told us of the support they received to improve their skills by going to college, developing hobbies and gaining employment.

• The service valued and respected people’s relationships with others.

• Carers described the service as excellent in the support it provided to them. The thorough assessment process and ongoing training ensured people were supported by carers who had the skills and knowledge to support them, as well as sharing their interests and hobbies. The ‘matching’ process ensured the success of placements.

• The service and carers had been recognised through various care agencies as being ‘exceptional’, having recently won three awards for the caring, compassionate and respectful support provided.

• The service was exceptionally well-led. The management team promoted shared decision making, with no one member of staff taking a decision alone which affected people and carers. Staff demonstrated a pride in working for the organisation: they were positive advocates for people and carers.

• The service used reflective practice to review how well people and carers were being supported and whether any more could be done. There was a commitment to continuous learning and improvement.

Rating at last inspection: the service was previously inspected in May and June 2016 and was rated good overall with the key question of ‘Is the service responsive?’ rated outstanding. The report was published on 6 August 2016.

Why we inspected: this announced inspection was a planned inspection based on the previous rating.

Follow up: We will continue to monitor the information we receive about the service until we return to visit in line with our re-inspection programme. If any concerning information is received we may inspect sooner.

Inspection areas



Updated 5 March 2019

The service was safe.

Details are in our Safe findings below.



Updated 5 March 2019

The service was effective.

Details are in our Effective findings below.



Updated 5 March 2019

The service was caring.

Details are in our Caring findings below.



Updated 5 March 2019

The service remained exceptionally responsive.

Details are in our Responsive findings below.



Updated 5 March 2019

The service has improved to be exceptionally well-led.

Details are in our Well-Led findings below.