My biggest dilemma for unpaid carers, is the number of times they ask for help, only to find their cries go unheard.
When you’re at crisis point - you shouldn’t have to ask more than once for action. Just Once should be enough to send in the cavalry.
A carer’s assessment is the first step for an unpaid carer to get help. It is an opportunity to record the impact caring has on their life, and what support services they need. It looks at physical, mental and emotional needs, and whether they are able to carry on caring.
By this point, they are exhausted and burnt out!
This avoids lengthy waiting lists for appointments. An unpaid carer can wait up to 6 months for an appointment. No care or support can be offered before the assessment.
Our current system is not fit for purpose because:
A carer’s assessment is via appointment only, with the local authority or carers centre.
The assessment takes up to 1 hour to complete, plus separate application forms for any additional local care services.
There is a wait time of up to 6 months for an appointment.
Waiting lists are used to manage the overwhelming demand on the service.
No support can be delivered before the assessment is complete, because many services are reliant on referrals.
Help me build and establish Just Once.
Just Once is a paperless, self-registration online service, that takes only 15 minutes to complete.
It is accessible on many devices, making it ideal for outreach programmes.
It can enable unpaid carers to complete the carers assessment in 15 minutes, anywhere in England!
Just Once is 45minutes quicker than the current paper version.
Just Once can also allow you to opt-in to other services (local care and support services, training and collective benefits) via a single registration form.
It can quickly address and support information sharing with the UK government, and encourage integrated working, between local carers services, and statutory partners.
It will finally give unpaid carers a voice and an identity, plus;
It can quickly address the current backlog and waiting lists.
My name is Michael-Jordan. No, I do not play basketball, but I do build computers. My professional background is in marketing, project management and the social care sector.
Last year my mother Josephine, was training for a London marathon when she slipped and broke her ankle in three places. After trauma surgery she was diagnosed with CRPS (Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome). She is in constant pain.
Josephine has always used mind over medicine, but sadly, she is now very dependent on painkillers, and has difficulty walking short distances.
Life for us became very serious, very quickly.
I had to manage my time between caring full time for my mother, fulfilling my work placement, keeping up with my Year Here cohort, plus work on my venture to keep my dream alive.
I was stretched. I was tired. I had no downtime for myself. My mother is an early riser, so my care duties start at 7:00 am and would end by 10:00pm. Sometimes at night, in her sleep, I could hear her cry in pain, making it difficult for me to fall asleep, because I worry, she may call out and I won’t hear her.
Like so many, I felt alone and petrified! I needed a carer’s assessment, but that was a long wait. The pandemic didn’t help matters, but I knew more could be done to address the waiting lists, if access to the carer’s assessment was remote.
My lived experience says, it’s official, we are the second NHS. London and the rest of the UK runs on unpaid care!
To ease the pressure on the NHS, we care behind closed doors, sometimes at our own health, wellbeing, financial and personal cost.
- During the pandemic, 1 in 4 people in the UK were providing regular unpaid care. That’s 13 million people.
- 1.4 million unpaid carers provide over 50 hours of unpaid care per week. So, when can we find the time to register for help?
- Nearly 300,000 people in England are on adult social care waiting lists due to delays in assessments from social workers.
- At least 75,000 unpaid carers have waited six months for their first assessment.
- Thousands of children provide unpaid care regularly.
- No support is delivered prior the assessment, because many services are reliant on referrals.
- This outdated service is not fit for purpose.
- The pandemic has made a bad situation worse.
- Without us, the NHS would collapse.
Here are some quotes from my interviews:
- "The most difficult element of being an unpaid carer is time. It is a struggle to look after someone else as well as look after my own life".
- "I am one of many neighbours who provide care to a friend, but we are all unsure what other support is out there to help the person we care for".
- "If you don't have someone or something to guide you, we will never find the support out there. I don't know where to look".
- "Every minute is a panic as a carer, Just Once would take the weight off going through all these processes".
- "The pandemic has impacted how we access information, the carer's assessment needs to be online".
- "I needed support, but I didn't know what was out there".
- Just Once is a paperless carer’s assessment
- Just Once has a unique selling point, it allows you to opt-in to other support services, via a single registration form.
- It’s compatible with all devices
- It can handle big data
- At your request, smart technology can automatically apply to local care and support services on your behalf by filling in their application forms for you – so you don’t have to.
- You will receive a quick response confirmation email, from your selected organisations, confirming that they have received your completed application form, and help is on the way.
- It is simple to use.
- It takes 15 minutes to complete the carer’s assessment
- Just Once is ideal to support staff with outreach programmes.
- Just Once can quickly tackle the waiting lists.
- No appointments are necessary.
- A carer’s assessment can be completed at a time that suits.
Your investment and faith in Just Once are crucial to taking us to the next phase.
- Built an Alpha version of the platform.
- Our target audience tested Just Once and provided feedback.
- Their feedback has helped define the next 4 iterations of the service.
- I have secured the promise of a pilot at a carers centre.
- Your support will fund the next build of the service for that to take place.
We cannot do this alone. With your help, Just Once can remove the barriers and send in the cavalry.
As a heartfelt thank you, we would like to offer the following.
- e-Letter personally thanking you for your support.
- Wall of Fame. We will immortalise your name and a special message on our website.
- Video personally thanking you for your support.
- Invitation to an exclusive closed beta test before the software is released.