You are here

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

Inspection Summary

Overall summary & rating


Updated 7 September 2016

This was an announced inspection that took place on 19, 23, 24, 25, 26 May and 1 June 2016. The service was last inspected in September 2014 and was found to be meeting all the regulations we reviewed.

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. Carers are recruited, assessed and supported to carry out this provision of care. 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. 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 had an established registered manager in place. 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 a legal responsibility for meeting the requirements in the Health and Social Care Act 2008 and associated Regulations about how the service is run.

All of the people we spoke with who used the service told us they felt safe.

We spoke with staff and carers about the service’s safeguarding procedures. They were all aware of the provider’s safeguarding policy and how to report any potential allegations of abuse or concerns raised and were aware of the procedures to follow.

We 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.

We looked at the systems for medicines management. We saw clear audits were regularly conducted via submission of people’s Medication Administration Records (MARs) and detailed policies and procedures were in place. Carers told us that they received adequate training in relation to administering people’s medicines and when we visited people, we looked at the systems they had in place.

People who used the service and their carers told us they were supported by staff members who had the appropriate skills and knowledge. We received very positive comments regarding the Shared Lives team.

When we visited people in their Shared Lives home it was apparent that they felt comfortable in this environment and with the people caring for them. The people we saw were affectionate towards their carers and we were told by people and carers alike that they were a ‘family’.

We spoke with staff in relation to the training they undertook. All the staff we spoke with talked very positively of the training they had and said they felt confident that they received the appropriate level of training and support they needed to do their job effectively. We saw evidence that training directly impacted the quality of the service people received and that staff and Shared Lives carers continually developed and benefitted from a structured and tailored training programme that evolved.

We spoke with people who used the service to see if they felt they were supported by staff who were caring and compassionate and to see if they were happy with their Shared Lives home and carers. The responses we received were unanimously positive in this area.

A detailed matching process was in place that meant people were matched with Shared Lives carers who shared similar interests, personalities and interests in life. This process was sen to be very thorough and appropriate given the vulnerability of some of the people being placed.

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. People, by becoming part of a ‘family,’ were receiving support and growing in confidence which was positively changing their lives. From speaking with people we 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.

People’s religious beliefs and wishes were supported and this was documented within people’s support plans. We found from observations and discussions with people, carers and staff that there was a culture of respect throughout the service which benefitted everyone involved.

We saw that the service had a detailed complaint policy in place. We saw there were a low level of complaints and that they were dealt with effectively. A large number of formal compliments had been received which reflected the discussions and evidence we found.

We received very positive comments about the registered manager from all the people we spoke with. People knew who they were and what their role was and told us they were approachable, knowledgeable and cared about their role and the people who received a service.

There were a number of mechanisms in place for people living within the Shared Lives settings and their carers to meet up with their peers. People told us that they met up for dinner and other activities across different parts of the County, so there was no disparity from area to area in terms of giving people the opportunity to network and meet other people with similar experiences to them. This meant that an additional layer of informal support was made available to people and carers which they told us was invaluable to them.

We saw evidence that staff meetings were held and staff we spoke with confirmed this to be the case. Staff told us they found staff meetings useful and that they had the opportunity to contribute within that forum.

Inspection areas



Updated 7 September 2016

The Service was Safe.

People we spoke with said they felt safe and records showed that staff had received appropriate safeguarding training which was refreshed regularly.

Appropriate arrangements were in place for management of medications and Shared Lives carers told us that they were adequately trained. We saw evidence of training and reviewed storage of medicines and storage arrangements during our visits to people's Shared Lives homes. Nobody we spoke with told us they had experienced any issues with their medication.

Appropriate, personalised and robust risk assessments were in place for people. We saw that these were reviewed on a regular basis to ensure they were still effective.



Updated 7 September 2016

The service was very Effective.

Staff had the appropriate skills, knowledge and empathy to provide an effective support service to Shared Lives carers and training records reflected this. This was confirmed when speaking with people, carers and members of the Shared Lives team. Professionals we spoke with also confirmed that staff were competent, effective and caring.

We saw evidence of numerous examples of how the service had improved people's lives. This included significant weight loss, less depend on medication and people who were now able to set and achieve their own personal goals.

People’s mental capacity had been considered before care was provided and staff had a good understanding of the Mental Capacity Act.



Updated 7 September 2016

The service was extremely Caring.

People and Shared Lives carers were very happy with the staff who supported them and the care they received.

We saw that people were supported, if this was their wish, to remain in touch with their biological families.

It was evident that the service also valued the welfare and wellbeing of the Shared Lives carers as they offered support to them to help them in their caring role.



Updated 7 September 2016

The service was Responsive.

People's support plans were 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.

An extensive number of activities were seen to take place for people. A number of people who had never engaged socially prior to moving into a Shared Lives setting told us that they now took part in social activities, had made friends and been on holiday.

Complaint procedures were in place and people were aware of how to raise concerns. We saw examples of how complaints had been dealt with.



Updated 7 September 2016

The service was Well-Led.

We saw evidence that staff meetings were held and staff we spoke with conformed this to be the case. Staff told us they found staff meetings useful and they had the opportunity to contribute within that forum.

We received very positive comments about the registered manager from all the people we spoke with. People knew who they were and what their role was and they told us that they were approachable, knowledgeable and cared about their role and the people who received a service.

We saw evidence that there was a large network of auditing and monitoring systems in place as well as management checks.