200 Lives: Evaluating supported living and residential care for adults with learning disabilities

The National Institute for Health Research has funded Manchester Metropolitan University, London School of Economics, Changing Our Lives and National Development Team for Inclusion to do this research.

Nearly £3 billion a year is spent by councils on supported living and residential care for adults with learning disabilities. The number of people needing such support is growing and many adults with learning disabilities living with their families would prefer to live independently. Despite the large amounts of public money being spent, we know very little about how good supported living/residential care services are, and how much they really cost.

Professor Chris Hatton at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Centre for Disability Research will lead this research which aims to examine the quality and costs of supported living and residential care for 200 adults with learning disabilities aged 18-74. We will collect information about the costs of housing support services, how housing support services operate, the health, wellbeing and lifestyles of adults with learning disabilities, and the views of family members.

Changing Our Lives undertook Quality of Life Reviews with 14 people who had taken part in the wider research. Each Quality of Life review is in addition to the data collected by the research team. The aim is for the Quality of Life Reviews to act as another layer of inquiry and to enable triangulation of the data collected by the research team, as well as providing a different perspective on quality from people with lived experience of learning disabilities.

 The findings from the research will be used to get good, up-to-date evidence on the quality and costs of supported living and residential care services to people who can make good use of it, including people with learning disabilities, their families the government, people who commission social care services, organisations who provide housing support for adults with learning disabilities and the Care Quality Commission.