Shared Lives Liverpool
A grant of £69,995 over 3 years
This pilot project aimed to develop Shared Lives as an intermediate care ‘home from hospital service’ to support older people who are ready to be discharged from hospital but unable to return home immediately. The grant supported a development officer to work with seven pilot areas to develop the model, see what works and demonstrate the effectiveness of Shared Lives as an intermediate care service. Learning from the pilot areas was disseminated across the whole Shared Lives sector, encouraging other schemes to offer this service. The project supported people discharged from hospital to avoid delays and enabled them to stay in a supportive family environment whilst they prepared to return home.
Often the only alternative for older people who are unable to return home straight from hospital has been residential care. Shared Lives has offered a real alternative to residential care and a valuable way for people to increase their skills and regain their independence before returning home. People using Shared Lives have valued the emotional support that Shared Lives carers have been able to provide. The relationships people have built up with their Shared Lives carers and families has helped to reduce loneliness.
Across the project Shared Lives carers have supported 117 people who have been discharged from hospital. Shared Lives has shortened their length of stay in hospital and many of them have then been able to return to their own home when they were ready. This resulted in hospital resources being made available to others. Shared Lives has been able to demonstrate the scheme as a cost-effective alternative, providing better outcomes and enabling older people and others to live independent lives in the community for longer. The Shared Lives arrangement cost £400 per week whilst the cost of an excess hospital bed stay is around £300 per night.
By sharing the learning from the pilot project across the Shared Lives sector 26 Shared Lives schemes have now provided support to people on discharge from hospital. These schemes are now looking at how intermediate care can fit with their local objectives and local authority and CCG commissioning strategies.
A full suite of guidance documents has been written and is now available for the Shared Lives sector to use when developing intermediate care. A guide for professionals and commissioners is now available to help them to understand the model and refer individuals to the service. For further details please click here.