A SCOTTISH company which pioneered a matching site for elderly care has launched a Covid-19 industry task force to aid the health sector during the coronavirus crisis.

Care Sourcer, founded in Edinburgh in 2016, is the UK’s first comparison and matching platform of its kind. The site is free for people seeking care and searches thousands of registered providers across the UK.

And now, with at least 15,000 people expected to leave hospitals to free up beds to accommodate coronavirus patients, Care Sourcer is offering a free Employee Assistance Pro-gramme (EAP) to care providers throughout the UK in partnership with Legal & General and EAP platform Health Assured.

There are estimated to be almost 1.6 million care workers in the UK and the firm is working with local councils and authorities to help find care home and care-at-home options for hundreds of elderly people.

CEO and co-founder Andrew Parfery, who was previously a senior executive in the care home industry before setting up the company in 2016 with managing director Andrew McGinley, said: “We have set aside some of our other business plans in order to rapidly do whatever we can to help.

“Some of the problems we anticipate or are already seeing include care homes not taking new residents, care homes in fear of an outbreak, impact on staff availability as care workers and their families get ill, school closures translating to some providers losing up to half of their care workers, and care visits to people’s homes being striped back to only essential visits meaning that families stepping in.”

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Care Sourcer is offering support and advice to families who are taking in elderly relatives as many care homes close their doors to new residents and as care providers prepare to lose a significant amount of employees through a combination of school closures and the spread of the virus within the care worker community.

While the UK Government has committed £3 billion to support services, some of which is expected to be directed to care homes, the Care Sourcer team has highlighted the gravity of the situation for industry workers.

Parfery commented: “Although the health department has committed funding to care providers and struggling care homes, the industry as a whole now needs to pull together more than ever in the face of what could be the greatest health crisis to face this country in a century.

He added: “Everyone is struggling, everyone is gravely worried and we need action plans to protect our elderly.”

Anyone can search for care homes or care at home online at caresourcer.com. Care experts are also available free of charge by telephone and email.

The EAP can be accessed via www.caresourcer.com/behind-every-care-worker. The family support service is available through www.caresourcer.com/corona-virus

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