Northumberland County Councillor Wendy Pattison, Cabinet Member for Caring for Adults, (fourth from left) with the Shared Lives team

Shared Lives Northumberland described as ‘exceptional’ by inspectors

Read the full report here.

Shared Lives Northumberland provides support in a family home for adults who are unable to live alone because of their age or disability.
The service was inspected to check whether it is safe, caring and well-led.

In a report published this month, inspectors rated the service as Good overall, with individual ratings of Good for both safe and well-led, and Outstanding for caring. 

Inspectors described Shared Lives Northumberland as an ‘exceptional service’ where people were truly respected and valued as individuals.

Northumberland County Councillor Wendy Pattison, Cabinet Member for Caring for Adults, said: “Shared Lives is a wonderful scheme which gives adults who need support the chance to live as part of a family in their carer’s own home.

“The opportunity to experience family life, sometime for the first time, is life-changing for so many adults.

“I am delighted that inspectors have recognised the tremendous contribution the carers, with support from our Shared Lives team, are making to people’s lives.”

The Shared Lives Northumberland team recruit, train and support self-employed Shared Lives carers who offer accommodation and support arrangements for vulnerable adults within their own family homes in the community.

Inspectors said that without exception, they received extremely positive comments about staff and Shared Lives carers.

Inspectors highlighted that tremendous bonds had been formed between the carers and the people they support.

One Shared Lives carer told inspectors: "We love him to bits, he's part of our family, definitely."

Another Shared Lives carer said: "Shared Lives not only changes a person's life but changes your life for the better too."

Inspectors described staff and Shared Lives carers as absolutely dedicated to providing people with the very best care and support they could, and said they were extremely thoughtful and caring and treated people with exceptional kindness.

They praised the outstanding outcomes the staff and carers provided for people, including fulfilling lifelong dreams.

One example was where staff and shared lives carers supported one person tirelessly over several years to obtain citizenship and ultimately a passport to allow them to book a holiday they had always dreamed of.

Inspectors also highlighted that staff promoted the belief to Shared Lives carers that there should be no barrier to people trying new things, or limits to the experiences they could have.

They said people had amazing opportunities to try new experiences, have countless holidays and develop new skills to enhance their independence, and that people led remarkably active lives and were fully involved in local communities.

Read the full report here.

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