You are here

East Sussex Shared Lives Scheme Outstanding

This service was previously registered at a different address - see old profile

We are carrying out a review of quality at East Sussex Shared Lives Scheme. We will publish a report when our review is complete. Find out more about our inspection reports.

Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating


Updated 5 April 2017

In shared lives, a shared lives carer (SLC) shares their home and family life with an adult who needs care or support to help them live well. Support can include long term or short term accommodation and respite care.

East Sussex Shared Lives Scheme recruits, checks and approves paid SLCs to provide care and support to people with learning disabilities and mental health problems in the carers own home. 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 East Sussex and at the time of inspection provided care and or support to 138 clients from 79 households.

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.

This comprehensive announced inspection was carried out on 20 and 24 January 2017.

People were supported by SLCs and SLOs who knew them exceptionally well. They were continually encouraged and empowered to develop confidence and skills both in meeting their personal care needs and in developing the skills to gain independence. SLCs and SLOs worked closely with health professionals to maximise people’s health and well-being.

People were always treated as individuals and their care was personalised and tailored to their specific needs and wishes. They told us they were treated extremely well and their privacy was consistently respected. People told us that they were involved in all decisions that affected them. They said that the SLOs regularly asked them if they were happy with the care and support they received.

We received numerous examples of how the ethos of the service had a particularly positive impact on people’s lives. Through family life, people had been given real self-esteem and were supported to increase independence. For some this was in relation to achievements such as learning to shower independently and for others this included travelling for the first time or having the courage and confidence to see if they could live independently.

People were fully involved in decisions about their care and support. SLOs and SLCs understood about people's capacity to consent to care and had a good understanding of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) and associated legislation. SLOs had gone to great lengths, through the use of role play, to enable informed decision making. Where people were assessed as unable to make decisions for themselves, they had considered the person's capacity under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, and had taken appropriate action to arrange meetings to make a decision within their best interests. Where appropriate applications had been made for Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) and the reasons were clearly recorded.

Everyone told us they felt safe in their individual homes and they were aware of some of the measures taken by the SLCs to ensure their safety. There were systems in place that ensured medicines were well managed and people received their medicines when they needed them. There were robust procedures to ensure that risks to people’s safety were identified, assessed and managed. When incidents occurred they were reviewed promptly to ensure the risk of a reoccurrence was minimised.

There was a thorough recruitment procedure to ensure safety in the recruitment of SLOs. All SLOs had a clear understanding of what constituted abuse and told us what actions they would take if they believed someone was at risk. New SLCs underwent rigorous assessment and checks before being 'matched' with people who needed support. Care and support was then reviewed at regular intervals to

Inspection areas



Updated 5 April 2017

East Sussex Shared Lives Scheme was safe.

People told us they felt safe.

There were thorough procedures in place to ensure that SLOs and SLCs were thoroughly vetted to ensure that they could provide safe and effective care to people.

There was a robust system for dealing with risks and documentation was person centred to ensure people’s individual needs were assessed and risks mitigated.



Updated 5 April 2017

East Sussex Shared Lives Scheme was very effective

Staff were trained in the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards and were extremely knowledgeable about the requirements of the legislation. The service was proactive in supporting people to make decisions about their lives and the support they received.

SLOs and SLCs had exceptional skills, knowledge and empathy to provide effective support to meet people’s needs.

When people’s health needs changed they scheme ensured that appropriate professionals were involved to provide advice and support. Professionals confirmed the positive joint working to achieve the best outcomes for people.



Updated 5 April 2017

East Sussex Shared Lives Scheme was exceptionally caring.

People told us they always made their own decisions and the SLCs would help them if they had difficulty making a decision. They told us their dignity was respected without question.

Staff consistently supported people to learn new skills to become as independent as possible.

People told us they were very happy and that their SLCs looked after them very well.



Updated 5 April 2017

East Sussex Shared Lives Scheme was responsive.

People's support plans were wholly person centred. They had up to date information about people, their healthcare, support needs, like and dislikes. People told us they were involved in reviewing their support plans if they wanted to be.

People were encouraged to increase their skills to become independent and where this presented with risks the risks were mitigated. The support provided increased confidence and empowered people to achieve their goals.

Complaint procedures were in place and were available in a variety of formats to enable people with varying needs to share their views. People knew how to raise concerns.



Updated 5 April 2017

East Sussex Shared Lives Scheme was exceptionally well led.

The vision and values of the service were consistently demonstrated by the registered manager and SLOs in their interactions with people, the SLCs and with each other. Staff felt supported by the registered manager and their colleagues and SLCs felt very much supported in their role.

The inclusive approach empowered staff to develop their skills and as a team they shared a strong commitment to ensuring a well-run service. The registered manager worked at both local and national level to support and drive improvements in shared lives and the scheme benefitted from the joint working.

There was a robust system of quality assurance. Audits were analysed to identify where improvements could be made. Action was taken to implement improvements.