National Care Force launched

March 18, 2020

A National Care Force has been launched to support volunteering in the social care sector during the coronavirus outbreak, and to help social care providers fill staff gaps.

The free online platform, powered by Florence, works by allowing volunteers to book shifts available across the social care sector. Shifts are posted directly by the care providers who have joined.

The National Care Force has been launched in response to vital staff shortages expected to occur due to coronavirus. With up to 80% of the UK population projected to be infected
by May 2021, extra users and staffing gaps caused by the illness will add even more strain to care services already stretched before the outbreak.

Anyone can join as a volunteer, regardless of work background. They can apply for non-clinical work such as picking up shopping for those self-isolating, or providing in-home care such as cleaning and laundry. Social care providers, healthcare workers and volunteers across the UK are also able to register to use the platform.

After going through compliance checks (including qualifications and criminal record), users update their profile with skills and experience. Care providers follow a similar process, adding details about their care setting and skills required. The platform’s algorithm
will match relevant positions to users.

Users apply for preferred positions, and the care provider will select a candidate. Everything is managed for free through the platform, which also stores reminders of upcoming shifts, and allows for cancellations.

Care professionals who can join include doctors, nurses, care workers, support workers, physiotherapists and occupational therapists. They can apply for shifts covering clinical staff rota gaps in a variety of care settings.

Social care providers who can join include care homes, home care services and local authorities.

National Care Force was developed by Florence founders, Dr. Charles Armitage and Dan Blake.

Charles said of the National Care Force launch, 'There is a desperate desire across the country for people to be able to do something to help but people don't know how to channel their efforts.

'The National Care Force is a movement that will significantly impact the national effort against COVID-19 and allow everyone to play their part.

'As a company, we have vast experience in using technology to mobilise massive, flexible workforces. The whole Florence team is working non-stop to deliver this solution.'

Dan added, 'There are very few “drop everything” moments in life and this is one of them.

'We are facing unprecedented challenges across our entire Health and Social Care system. I want to make sure we each do all we can to help to protect and help the most vulnerable in our society.'

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