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  • Run by Shared Lives Plus.
  • Shared Lives is a form of person-centred care regulated by the Care Quality Commission.
  • This project will involve developing a digital matching platform and marketplace for day support and respite that will boost recruitment and allow people who are seeking support to be matched with those who can provide support.
  • Running from September 2023 to July 2024, with potential further funding to pilot the idea.

Shared Lives schemes support adults with learning disabilities, mental ill-health, dementia or other care needs by matching them to an approved carer. Shared Lives Plus is the UK membership charity for people living and working in Shared Lives care. 

This project will involve the development of a digital matching platform which will address challenges to the growth of Shared Lives. It will do this by providing an opportunity for more people who may be on the edge of crisis to benefit from day or respite support within Shared Lives. It will also explore how Shared Lives carers could be recruited through a digital solution. 

The platform will enable people seeking support to search for carers who might be well placed to support them. This will involve searchable criteria with ‘knockout factors’ to enable the creation of a shortlist of available carers. This could include criteria such as the person’s values, interests and aspirations. If the person seeking support is interested in being matched with one or more of the carers shortlisted, the matching site will facilitate easy contact with the scheme to refer and set up the critical face-to-face ‘getting to know you’ components. 

Providing vacancies for all kinds of Shared Lives support, including day support and respite, the solution will also be of benefit to unpaid carers, who could use the system to access carer respite, in turn reducing the number of unpaid carers who burn out or need additional support. Finally, the project will explore the potential of the site to streamline referral processes into Shared Lives and make it easier to recruit carers. 

During phase 2 (testing ideas) of the project, a set of schematics or aims will be mocked up to show how the solution might work, and will be tested through engagement with a co-production group. The solution will then be further developed and piloted, tested and refined with two engagement groups. 

Contact information

For more information about this project, please contact Ewan King, Chief Executive, Shared Lives Plus.

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