£¼ million cash boost to expand Shared Lives scheme

More Bolton adults with health needs will be able to live fulfilling lives in our community thanks to a national funding boost.

Bolton’s Shared Lives scheme is to benefit from an extra £127,000 from NHS England, via the national Shared Lives Plus organisation, plus match funding from NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

It is one of only five schemes in the country to be awarded funding.

The money will enable Shared Lives to recruit new carers and offer training in mental health awareness, so that adults with mental health issues can live more independently and with the correct support.

Shared Lives is a placement scheme for adults with learning disabilities, mental health issues or a physical disability.

Service users can benefit from short or long term placements within a family environment as an alternative to a residential home or living alone.

The new funding will enable the service, which is run by Bolton Cares (Bolton Council’s local authority trading company), to offer more placements to adults with mental health issues and the placements will be commissioned by NHS Bolton CCG.

Both organisations are committed to reducing the demand on health care services, and expanding the Shared Lives service will enable them to place vulnerable adults with carers as an alternative to being admitted to hospital or before they return home after a hospital stay.

Deputy Leader of Bolton Council, and chairman of the Bolton Cares steering committee, Cllr Linda Thomas, said: “The Shared Lives scheme has been running in Bolton for more than 30 years and is one of the largest in Greater Manchester with around 49 long term and 42 short term placements.

“This welcome funding will enable us to help even more vulnerable adults in a safe community environment as an alternative to residential care or a hospital stay.”

Chief Executive of Bolton Cares, John Livesey, said: “Shared Lives a wonderful service that really works for the benefit of both service users and carers. The people who use our service become part of a loving family and our carers are experienced in what they do and get so much fulfilment from helping others.

“Since forming Bolton Cares as a not-for-profit company, this is the first major funding boost for us and shows commitment from our partners to developing and improving local adult social care services. We’re delighted with the outcome and looking forward to recruiting more carers and meeting new service users.”

Dr Wirin Bhatiani, Chair of NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Over the past few months NHS Bolton Clinical Commissioning Group has been working in partnership with Shared Lives, Bolton Council and Greater Manchester West NHS Foundation Trust (GMW) on a bid to access match funding for a three year project with Shared Lives Plus and NHS England.

“I am delighted that Bolton has been awarded this funding as one of only five CCG areas across England and Wales.  The bid concentrated on improving access to Shared Lives and as a result more positive outcomes for people with mental health needs and/or learning disabilities.”


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