Elder flowers in changing perceptions around care for the elderly – and was rewarded with a visit by from the Minister for State Care on 18 September.

In April 2018 KWIB reported that Elder launched their revolutionary approach to care in Kent which aims to provide a faster route out of hospital by providing fully vetted live-in carers thereby enabling beds to made available sooner to reduce the number of unnecessary days spent in hospital while patients (usually elderly) wait for alternative care arrangements to be made.

The visit by the Minister of State for Care coincided an announcement by Rt Hon. Matt Hancock MP, the newly appointed Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, where he laid out a vision for a ‘tech-driven’ system.

Upon announcing the visit, Elder CEO, Pete Dowds, said:

‘Following the Health Secretary’s bold new vision, it’s an amazing opportunity for the Minister to see a company at the very forefront of care tech.

We want to show her how ‘startup thinking’ can be deployed to reduce delayed transfers, to reduce readmissions, to fundamentally recalibrate how care for the elderly is delivered in this country.’

The Government has made its intent clear. By making the UK a world leader in care and health tech, we can release the resources required for our NHS to rise to its biggest challenges.’

Ahead of the forthcoming green paper, we hope her visit serves as an inspiration to see how Matt Hancock’s vision for a tech-driven system can be made a reality.’

In a speech at the 2018 NHS expo, the Rt Hon. Matt Hancock MP said:

‘We must put in place a framework that allows innovators and technology companies to thrive – to meet user needs – and most importantly to support the uptake and adoption of the best of those services.

‘… We need to make it easy for anyone – software developer in a startup or clinician with a good idea – to see how to get a good idea off the ground.’ 

As well as meeting some of the live-in care professionals employed by Elder and also the families of those receiving care, the Minister also had an opportunity on the visit to meet with Hamish Pringle and Felicity Swan, two of the artists participating in the #endbedblocking campaign spearheaded by Elder. Intended to raise awareness of the issue around the delays in being able to release people from hospital, the campaign features beds appearing in unlikely places up and down the country.

With the average self-funding care recipient having to pay close to £1050 per week in the South East of England according to the Competition & Markets Authority, compared to a live-in carer from Elder costing a flat fee of £795 per week, it is unsurprising that Elder’s business model is attracting a great deal of interest not only from the Government but from families who want and need to ensure their relatives are properly looked after.

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