A service offering care and support to adults and young people with learning disabilities and mental health needs has been rated as outstanding.
Durham County Council’s Shared Lives service, which supports almost 100 people across County Durham and Hartlepool, has been rated as outstanding by the Care Quality Commission.
Shared Lives providers share their home and family life with a person who needs care and support, offering long-term, short-term, respite and emergency placements throughout the county and borough.
Providers support the person to develop and maintain independent living skills and friendships and live as part of their local community, giving them a sense of wellbeing in a safe and supportive environment.
Cllr Chris Hood, Cabinet member for adult and health services, said: “We are delighted that our Shared Lives service has been rated as outstanding. This is a fantastic achievement reflecting the hard work of everyone in the team and the excellent service offered by all the Shared Lives providers. They offer wonderful support to those who need it, helping people to develop their skills and live as part of their local community.
“We are very grateful for the work they do to provide a safe and supported environment for residents, improving their wellbeing. The rating is a testament to their care and dedication and we would encourage anyone who thinks they could become a Shared Lives provider to contact us for more information.”
One of the areas rated as outstanding was the care provided, with inspectors finding that people were truly respected and valued as individuals as well as empowered as partners in their own care.
During the inspection, it was also noted that people were supported to achieve their goals and aspirations, with providers enabling people to lead exceptionally fulfilling and meaningful lives by going the extra mile to respect people’s choices.