We’re planning Care Connect in Southmead!

October 6, 2021

We are excited to announce that we have got the green light to set up Care Connect in Southmead!

Care Connect is an Introduction Service which helps make a match between carers and those who need care (care-seekers).

During the last four years, while we’ve been running Neighbours Connect Southmead, we’ve been talking to lots of residents. They often say things like “I’d like a male carer but the agency don’t have one” or “I’d like help to get up at 9am but they can only send someone at 11am”.  We’ve also heard about how some residents can’t get the care they need at all. In fact, Age UK data shows 274 residents in Southmead have an un-met care needs.

All of this reflects a system that often isn’t based around people and their individual needs. Something needs to change. It is our relationship and experiences with our residents which has therefore driven us to set up this new Introduction Service.

Our three main areas of focus are:

  1. increase the choice and control which residents have over their care options
  2. open up new and well-paid local employment opportunities for residents
  3. bring in mainstream care funding and income to sustain our Neighbours Connect Southmead project

How will it work?

For care-seekers they will come to our Care Connector, who will meet with them and do a holistic assessment with them. We will also help them to access an online platform where they input what is important to them and what care they need. This platform then suggests carer profiles which match their search. Then we can invite the potential carers for interview.

For carers our Care Connector will support them to set up their online profiles, get a DBS check and access relevant training.

In this model Carers or Personal Assistants (PAs) are either employed directly by the person seeking care, or work for them on a self-employed basis. This means the service can be more flexible and responsive.

We’re working with many partners to make this happen. We’re being supported to do this by our friends at Community Care Connect who have set up a similar service in North East Dartmoor. We’re also working with a group called Make It Local, which is a partnership with Bristol City Council and other voluntary sector organisations the city. We’re learning together on this new journey.

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