Shared Lives initiative to work in partnership with South Tees CCG

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The Avalon Group Logo Pantone 200 CThe Avalon Group and NHS England join forces to help more people be cared for in a family home, instead of a hospital

Shared Lives Plus, the UK network for Shared Lives and Homeshare has today announced which local areas have been chosen to receive a share of the £1.75m investment from NHS England to take forward an innovative family-based initiative to help more people to be cared for in a home, not a hospital.

The successful bidders were formally confirmed at the House of Commons on 19th October alongside MPs and other key figures.

South Tees has been chosen as one of the five areas who will develop a clinical commissioning group (CCG) led Shared Lives scheme, in partnership with local charity The Avalon Group, who themselves have over 20 years’ experience delivering and developing Shared Lives schemes.

In Shared Lives a trained and approved Shared Lives carer shares their home and family life with an adult who needs care or support to help them live well.  This is part of NHS England’s commitment to transforming health so that people can keep well and live independently in the community.

The Shared Lives model will support people who have needs which make it hard for them to live on their own, by carefully matching them with a carer to share their family and lives, giving care and support in the community.  The schemes will focus on people with a learning disability and/or autism, those with mental health problems, people with dementia and patients in acute hospital settings with physical health needs.

By working directly with the NHS, it is expected that the many benefits of the Shared Lives approach to a person’s health and to health services can be developed even further.  These include a reduction in how long people need to stay in hospital, improvements in hospital discharge and reduced unplanned admissions and/or trips to A&E in addition to improved outcomes for people using the services.  Projected savings are expected to be more than £130m over the five year life of the project.

Alex Fox, CEO of Shared Lives Plus said: “We are delighted to be working with five local health organisations and their partners to bring Shared Lives to hundreds of people. In the future, this could enable health services to offer community-based alternatives to traditional health provision much more widely.”

“By partnering with NHS England we are able to build on the fantastic foundations laid by the 150 existing schemes which provide regulated social care. People living in Shared Lives households or visiting them regularly for short breaks say that they live happier, healthier lives. Councils also save significant sums and this initiative will bring these savings to the NHS for the first time.”

Simon Stevens, NHS England Chief Executive, said: “The five Shared Lives areas announced today have the chance to be at the forefront of delivering the kind of community and people-centred approach that will be a key part of NHS services in the future.”

Larry Hollando, The Avalon Group CEO said: “We are excited to begin this new partnership, and to bring Shared Lives to more people in need of safe, family support in the Tees area. Shared Lives is a fantastic service which sees communities thrive, and this will continue as the service expands.”

Shared Lives has grown nationally by 27% over the last two years, and has received praise from NHS England Chief Executive Simon Stevens and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

Following confirmation of their success, the five new schemes will be match funding a new approach to Shared Lives either in partnership with an existing scheme or in some cases setting up a brand new one.

It is expected that the first matches will take place in 2017.

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