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Adult Social Care Glossary, v 0.41

Shared Lives scheme

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Data descriptor
ASC Collections Data Dictionary (Beta v1.3)
NHS Digital

Formerly known as 'adult placement', Shared Lives offers people (predominantly those with a learning disability, but also older people and people with mental health problems) a flexible form of accommodation and person-centred support, which is provided by ordinary individuals or families (adult placement carers) in the local community.


Shared Lives is care and/or support provided by individuals, couples and families who have been approved and trained for that role by the service registered with Care Quality Commission. Care and/or support may also be provided either within or outside of the home of the carer as well as kinship support to people living in their own homes. It is the service that is regulated not the individual accommodation that is owned or rented by private residents.

Plain English definition
Think Local Act Personal (TLAP) Jargon Buster

A type of care for people who are unable to live independently or may not wish to live alone, and an alternative to supported living, home care or residential care. Shared Lives carers offer care and support in their own home to older people, people with mental health problems, or people with physical or learning disabilities. This may take the form of regular visits, or the individual who needs care and support may live with a Shared Lives carer on a permanent basis. Shared Lives schemes are usually managed by local councils or voluntary organisations, and overseen by the Care Quality Commission.

Source: Project team

The definition of Care worker in NICE Guideline NG67 (Managing medicines for adults receiving social care in the community) refers to "Shared Lives Scheme (formerly Adult Placement Scheme)"

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