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Southampton City Council Shared Lives Scheme Good


Inspection carried out on 7 May 2019

During a routine inspection

About the service: Southampton City Council Shared Lives Scheme is registered to provide personal care for adults who may have learning disabilities, mental health needs, physical disabilities, and for older people. There were 25 people living in a shared lives household and receiving support with personal care at the time of the inspection.

People’s experience of using this service:

People received a service that was safe, effective, caring, responsive and well led.

The service had the characteristics of a good service in all areas.

Systems were in place to keep people safe.

People received support with their medicines as prescribed.

People were protected from the risk of infection because carers had received relevant training.

People were treated with kindness and respect and lived as part of a family, who cared about them.

People’s privacy and dignity was respected.

People received personalised care which was responsive to their individual needs.

People enjoyed a range of activities which they had chosen. Some people shared an interest or activity with their carer.

People had care plans in place which detailed what support they needed.

People and their carers could access the complaints procedure and complaints were investigated appropriately.

People’s views, and their carer’s views, were sought and regular quality assurance reviews were completed.

Rating at last inspection:

At our last inspection, (report published 2 December 2016) we rated the service as Good.

Why we inspected:

This was a planned comprehensive inspection.

Follow up:

We did not identify any concerns at this inspection. We will therefore re-inspect this service within the published timeframe for services rated good. We will continue to monitor the service through the information we receive.

For more details, please see the full report which is on the CQC website at

Inspection carried out on 16 August 2016

During a routine inspection

The inspection took place on 16 and 18 August 2016 and was announced. We gave the provider 24 hours notice because we wanted to ensure there would be staff in the office.

Southampton City Council Shared Lives Scheme is registered to provide personal care for adults who may have learning disabilities, mental health problems or physical disabilities, and for older people. It supports 62 people who live and receive care and support in carers' own homes.

There was a registered manager at the service. 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.

The registered manager managed a clearly defined structure. Shared lives carers and supporting carers were supported by four office based shared lives workers, including one employed in a senior role.

People felt safe living at home with their carers who had completed a thorough recruitment process. The recruitment process for carers lasted around three months as new carers met current carers, undertook training, had their skills assessed by staff, attended a “mock” panel and sought approval from a panel. There were procedures in place to follow in the event of an emergency, whereby a person may need to move temporarily at short notice. Staff and carers had completed training with regard to safeguarding adults. Risk assessments were undertaken to identify and minimise risks to people’s health and wellbeing. There was enough staff to meet people’s needs and the needs of the carers. People received their medicines as prescribed.

People were supported by carers and staff who had completed relevant training. New carers had completed the Care Certificate before they were approved and employed. Staff and carers accessed a range of relevant training to help them support people’s needs. People enjoyed their meals and were supported to access healthcare services when necessary.

People and their carers lived as a family and we observed there were caring interactions between people and their carers. People made decisions about how they spent their time and what support they needed. Staff accessed an advocacy service to support people with making decisions if necessary. People’s privacy and dignity was respected by carers.

People received personalised care and support in a family environment that was responsive to their needs. People’s needs were assessed by talking with them and gaining information from professionals who supported them. The information was used to create a care plan which detailed their individual preferences and needs. The provider had a complaints procedure in place which detailed how people could complain and what they could expect to happen in response to their complaint.

People benefitted by living with carers who felt well supported by the service which was open, honest and transparent. Staff spoke highly of the registered manager and the way the service was managed. The provider sought the views of people using the service, their relatives and carers. People were sent a questionnaire before their annual review where possible so any issues could be discussed at the review. Results of surveys were analysed and action taken when necessary. The registered manager had a system to monitor the quality of the service provided which included recording accidents, auditing the completion of records and following up issues.

Inspection carried out on 11, 13 December 2013

During a routine inspection

We spoke with two people using the service, two Shared Lives carers, support staff and the manager. We visited people in their home settings, and observed interaction between them and their carers. Interaction was observed to be warm and sincere. People told us they were happy in their placements and with the support they received from the carers. One person told us their carer was “very good, very thoughtful, very kind.”

The Shared Lives placements were consensual in that people and their carers were able to choose freely whether to enter into the scheme and stay with the placement. Carers and the scheme’s support staff team ensured people’s choices were respected. The scheme’s ethos and effective systems ensured people’s rights and well-being were protected in line with legal requirements.

People were supported to be able to eat and drink sufficient amounts to meet their needs, and were protected from the risks of inadequate nutrition and dehydration. People were supported to eat healthily, but their individual food choices were also respected.

The provider’s recruitment and selection processes ensured carers were suitable and sufficiently skilled to provide effective care and support to vulnerable people. The service was open to feedback and had an appropriate complaints system to be used in the event a complaint was received.

Inspection carried out on 26, 28 February and 1 March 2013

During a routine inspection

We spoke with six people using the service, three carers, three members of staff and the service’s manager. People were very positive about the support they received. They told us “in this house we’re able to do anything”. Another person told us they would like to put the carer they lived with forward for a “carer of the year award”.

The provider had taken steps to ensure people’s views and experiences were taken into account in the way the service was provided and delivered. People were supported to be as independent as possible whilst sharing in ordinary family and community life.

We reviewed records and support plans for people using the service and found they were accurate, complete and fit for purpose. The service had an effective process for matching people with appropriate family carers, and the result was that people were clearly thriving in their family settings.

Staff were positive about the support they received from their manager, and carers were positive about the support they received from the service’s staff team. Inductions were to recognised standards, and both staff and carers had sufficient training to carry out their roles effectively.

There was a balanced approach to assessing and responding to risks. The service sought and acted upon the feedback of people in the scheme, and an effective process was available for people if they ever wanted to make a complaint.