Can technology solve Britain’s social care crisis?

By Oliver Smith 2 May 2017
Adam and Daniel Pike, co-founders of SuperCarers.

The weight of social care is being placed on families, but could technology be the answer?

There’s a serious problem affecting Britain’s aging population.

Last month the UK Homecare Association said the UK’s social care system was “beginning to collapse” as 900 nurses were leaving the profession every day.

The UK’s fourth largest home care provider, MiHomeCare, has just been sold by owner Mitie for only £2.

And after pledging an additional £2bn for social care last year, the Government is currently working on a green paper which will set out options for the next government to fund social care given an ever-aging population.

Luckily Britain’s entrepreneurs love a challenge, and Adam Pike is one such entrepreneur.

Meet SuperCarers

“We’re at a stage now where technology has the potential to help people and give people more choice in control over their lives, social care for me is the next logical step in that pathway,” Pike, CEO of SuperCarers, told The Memo.

After his mum and sister were forced into full-time care for his grandmother with early stage dementia, Pike and his brother decided to go into business together to come up with a better solution.

SuperCarers is an online marketplace for social care, a bit like but for carers rather than cleaning and with a range of background and, crucially, skills checks.

The idea is that families can find quality care for their relatives by hiring a carer directly, and at a reasonable price unlike many of the larger care agencies (although Pike says price isn’t something SuperCarers promotes).

The cost of care

“In Harrow, for example, the average cost of care is £21 per hour if you’re purchasing care privately, and our platform is from £14,” he says.

“So you absolutely save money, but for us we don’t lead on price is because quality and trust is what people are looking for.”

Similarly last week we spoke to Cera, which is partnering with services like Uber and Gett to make the movement of medicines and carers more affordable.

But it’s not just about saving families money, says Pike, because when affordable, available home care is available then fewer elderly people will find themselves in need of emergency care which will reduce the burden on the NHS.

And that’s good news for everyone.