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Shared Lives Scheme (West Sussex County Council) Good

Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating


Updated 17 November 2018

This comprehensive inspection took place on 26 June 2017 and was announced.

Shared Lives Scheme (West Sussex County Council) is registered to provide personal care and support. The service offers long term and short-term placements for adults and older people living in the West Sussex area, who have a learning disability. People who have a mental health need are also supported when there is a dual diagnosis of a learning disability. People may also have a physical and/or sensory disability. People had access to ‘day share’ facility, where they could go to a shared lives carer for the day. In Shared Lives, an adult over 18 years of age who needs support and or accommodation becomes a regular visitor to, or moves in with, a registered shared lives carer. Together, they share family and community life and in many cases the individual becomes part of a supportive family.

Shared lives carers (SLCs) and people they care for are matched for compatibility and can develop real relationships. The shared lives carer acts as 'extended family', so that someone can live at the heart of their community in a supportive family setting. Not all provided the regulated activity of personal care at the time of the inspection, but may be supporting people with developing access into their local neighbourhood and helping develop people's life skills towards improved independence.

Shared lives carers are supported and managed by staff employed at Shared Lives West Sussex County Council. The provider is responsible for ensuring SLCs are provided with the appropriate knowledge, skills and support to undertake this role. The provider employs Shared Lives Officers (SLOs) to carry out this role. The service operates throughout West Sussex and at the time of inspection provided care and or support to 144 clients from 96 households.

Following the last inspection on 26 June 2017, the service was rated as Required Improvement. At the current inspection, we found that sufficient improvements had been made in the areas of safe and well-led that the services overall rating had improved to Good.

The care service has been developed and designed in line with the values that underpin the Registering the Right Support and other best practice guidance. These values include choice, promotion of independence and inclusion. People with learning disabilities and autism using the service can live as ordinary a life as any citizen.

There was a registered manager in post. A registered manager is a person who has registered with the Care Quality Commission to manage the service. Like registered providers, they are 'registered persons'. Registered persons have legal responsibility for meeting the requirements in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and associated Regulations about how the service is run.

Shared lives staff and shared lives carers showed a genuine and in-depth understanding and compassion for the people they supported. People were treated with high standards of kindness, compassion and respect. Their independence was promoted as far as possible, whilst respecting their choices. There was a very strong emphasis on people having choices and their preferences being respected. People were actively involved in their support and in the recruitment process of other shared lives carers.

Risks to people's personal safety and wellbeing had been assessed and plans were in place to minimise these risks. People were protected against abuse and avoidable harm. People involved in accidents and incidents were supported to stay safe and action was taken to prevent further injury or harm. People’s medicines were safely managed.

Assessments were holistic and took account of people’s diverse and complex needs. People and relatives took part in the interview process for new staff and had an influence over who was recruited. The registered manager ensured there were enough qualified, skilled and knowledgeable staff to meet people's needs. Shared lives staff and carers r

Inspection areas



Updated 17 November 2018

The service was safe

People told us they were safe. They were supported by shared lives carers and workers that understood their responsibilities in relation to safeguarding and the providers policies and procedures.

The provider had a robust recruitment process in place to ensure that they were safe to work with people. There were sufficient numbers of staff to keep people safe.

Medicines were managed, stored and administered effectively. This process was audited effectively by the shared lives workers.

Individual risks to people�s safety had been assessed thoroughly and reviewed when needs changed.

Lessons were learned when things went wrong.



Updated 17 November 2018

The service was effective

Carers and workers received the training and support they needed. They understood their responsibilities with regards to seeking consent and the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and supported people to make decisions about their lives.

Shared lives staff and shared lives carers worked well together, and with other professionals, to ensure people received effective care and support.

People and their carers were matched effectively using a process that considered their needs and lifestyles, as well as the skills and knowledge of the carers.

Assessments were holistic and took account of people�s diverse and complex needs.



Updated 17 November 2018

The service was exceptionally caring

People were supported by extremely kind and caring carers and shared lives workers who knew their preferences and needs well and who went the extra-mile to offer both practical and emotional support.

People were always supported to express their views and be involved as far as possible in making decisions about their care, treatment and support. People were involved in the recruitment process of new shared lives carers.

People were treated with utmost dignity and respect. Lives were valued and people were supported in continuing their lives in a meaningful way.

Staff consistently supported people to learn new skills and always encouraged people to have a positive lifestyle to become as independent as possible.



Updated 17 November 2018

The service was responsive

People�s care plans were holistic and person-centred. People were involved in creating their support plans. People were supported to access activities and maintain relationships that were important to them.

People were supported to develop their skills and maintain their independence as much as possible.

Complaints procedures were in place and people told us that they would feel comfortable raising concerns if they had to. Complaints were used by the provider to improve the delivery of care.



Updated 17 November 2018

The service was well-led

Quality assurance and health and safety systems were effective and embedded into practice.

The management promoted an open and transparent service that encouraged feedback and discussion to drive improvement.

People and staff were actively engaged and involved.

The service worked closely in partnership with professionals, agencies and local authority teams to ensure joined up and effective support.