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Tameside Shared Lives Scheme Consultation

 

What is Shared Lives?

 
Shared Lives, is a regulated form of social care delivered by Shared Lives Carers who are approved by a Care Quality Commission (CQC) registered scheme. The CQC is the independent regulator of all health and social care services in England and monitors and checks all care services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety.
 
The aim of Shared Lives currently is to offer people aged 18 years and older an alternative and highly flexible form of accommodation and support.  Individuals who need support, and choose Shared Lives, are matched with compatible Shared Lives Carers who support and include the person in their family and community life. 
 
All Shared Lives Carers are subject to Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks and complete an assessment and approval process, and are required to undertake regular mandatory training.  They are paid expenses for the care and support provided.
 

Service Currently Offered by Shared Lives

 
The services Tameside MBC Shared Lives currently offers are;
 
  • Long-term - This service enables people to live with approved Shared Lives Carers on a long-term basis, sharing in the ordinary lifestyles of the carers and their families.
  • Interim - A service user can live with a Shared Lives Carer for up to 12 months. These placements focus on promoting skills and independence, with a view to moving towards more independent living. There is the potential for interim placements to become long term placements after 12 months based on assessed needs.
  • Respite - A service enabling users to take either regular short breaks or one off periods e.g. to allow for convalescence after a hospital stay or for family members to go on holiday or have a break from their caring role.
  • Day Support - This is a flexible service enabling people to do activities of their choice, to use community facilities or to visit approved Shared Lives Carers in the carer’s home.
  • Emergencies - We may also able to provide emergency respite placements, dependent on Carers available and the needs of the service user.
 
 

What are the Proposed Changes?

 
There are two proposals being considered as part of this consultation:
  1. Change to Shared Lives Carer’s payment. This is to consider moving from a fixed payment to a banding payment system.
  2. Change to age of access to the Shared Lives service. This is to open up the service to people aged 16+, as currently the service is for people aged 18+.
 
Information about each proposal is provided below. Please consider the two proposals carefully, and read the information thoroughly before answering the questions.
 

PROPOSAL 1 – CHANGE TO PAYMENT

 

Current Payment Position

 
Shared Lives currently has a fixed payment to carers for their services. The service users who are referred to the Shared Lives service vary in complexity of needs and levels of support required.  These levels of support are currently not reflected in the current fixed payment.  This can lead to carers becoming less incentivised to support service users with complex needs. This is a growing area of need within the borough.
 
The introduction of a banded payment system for Shared Lives Carers will enable the Shared Lives Scheme to develop and expand in the knowledge that service users have different needs. The use of banded payment systems has been implemented by eight of the eleven Greater Manchester Schemes and is seen as national best practice. Tameside aims to create a fair and transparent banded system to align with the best practice.  The proposal is for an introduction of a three band system that would enable the Shared Lives Scheme to pay carers according to the level of need the service users have which they support.
 
The bands being proposed are:
 
  • Low needs (band one).
  • Medium needs (band two).
  • Complex banding (based on assessment) for exceptional circumstances (Complex band).
 
It is proposed that banding will be introduced for
 
  • Long term,
  • Respite and
  • Day Support provision
 
These will be used to calculate the interim and emergency payments
 
A banding toolkit has been produced, based on best practice guidelines from the national Shared Lives Plus scheme, which will support carers.  Initial work to investigate the impact of the banding system on carers shows that most carers will continue to be paid the same / current rate of payment.  There will, however, be a small number of carers whose payments will increase or decrease as a result of the proposals.
 
Current fixed term payments to Shared Lives carers are as follows;
 
Long Term Support £405.54 per week
Respite Support £45.56 per night
Day Support (per five hours session) £35.30 per session


Emergencies and interim payments are determined at the time, and are dependent on the potential length of time required and the type of service.
  
The proposed payments to carers are as follows:
 

Day Support

The below bands assume that a session is five hours.
 
  Band One     Band Two   Complex  Needs
Per session £35.30 £42.35 £63.55
Per hour £7.06 £8.47 £12.71
 

 Respite

£110 per night  Band One Band Two Complex Needs
£45.56 per night £80 per night  


Long Term  and  Interim

  Per week Per Annum
Band One £300 £15,600
Band Two £405.54 £21,088.08
Complex Needs £ assessed based on need £ assessed based on need
  

For long term placements there will typically be a respite provision of 21 nights built in, which will usually be provided within the scheme.  Carers will not be charged for these respite nights, but may choose to purchase additional respite if required.
 
Interim Placements.
Because interim arrangements are dependent on the potential length of time required, and the type of service, it is proposed that the weekly payments are as outlined above, but will be calculated on a case by case basis.
 
Emergencies
Emergencies will be paid on the long term or respite rate dependent on anticipated length of placement.  In placing an emergency, it is expected that carers will receive the band two respite rate until the banding assessment is completed. If the person’s banding is lowered after assessment, carers will not be expected to refund the difference. If the banding is increased after assessment, carers will receive a backdated payment.
 
Service Users
It is important to note that the proposed changes to the payments for Shared Lives Carers will not impact the charging of current or future service users. 
 
Service users will continue to be assessed on their eligible needs, and their contributions are based on a financial assessment (based on Charging Guidelines).
 
Carers
The proposed changes to the payments may impact current Shared Lives Carers. There will be opportunities for carers to discuss individual queries with the Shared Lives Team; a letter will be sent out to Shared Lives carers with further details on how they can do this.


PROPOSAL 2 – CHANGE TO AGE OF ACCESS

Current Age Access Policy

Tameside MBC Shared Lives currently offers a service to people aged 18 and over who meet the criteria for adults social care services.

What are the Proposed Changes?
Tameside MBC Shared Lives service is aiming to expand their provision to support young people aged 16+. We aim to provide a range of different services working with young people who will transition into adult services, and also with young people leaving care to provide a step down service to help support their preparation for independence. The areas we aim to support are as follows:

Transitional Placements: Improving the transitional pathway for young people with additional needs leaving care, this will mean that young people and foster carers will have an understanding that Shared Lives could be a future option should they wish to pursue this. Young people could be identified from 15, introduced to concept of Shared Lives placement and begin transition at 16 if this is their chosen future support.

Respite Care: We could also offer respite placements for young people from 16+ as an alternative to fostering family links. This would also allow service users with additional needs who would be eligible for respite from Adult Services to be introduced to carers who could provide support post 18.

Interim Placements: Interim placements with Shared Lives families as an alternative to foster arrangements / residential placements for young people aged 16+ using the traditional Shared Lives model. Young people accessing this service would not need to have additional needs and may be eligible to use Shared Lives as an alternative to supported lodgings post 18.

Alternative to supported lodgings: This is a potential option for young people leaving care who do not meet the criteria for adult services. Shared lives placements could be funded as an alternative to supported lodgings/ bedsits provision which is currently offered.

Day Support/ Kinship support: Commissioned day support hours for care leavers to provide support to develop links with the local community and develop tenancy management skills within their independent accommodation. This will be time limited to support young people into independence.

We hope that by developing Shared Lives as a service for young people we can achieve positive outcomes through earlier planning at what can be a very stressful time for a young person and their family.  Shared Lives can support young people to have new and rewarding experiences in the community, develop independence skills and confidence and support families while a young person goes through a transition from children’s to adult services.

We hope that by providing services for young people we can offer stability in periods of high stress which will reduce the need for additional services in later life.

We are inviting your views on the proposed changes to the Shared Lives service. Please tell us your views by clicking here.  The consultation will close on Sunday 22nd July 2018.
 
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