On-demand service and gig economy will save care sector
The care sector needs to provide older people with a technology-backed on-demand service where the workforce is deployed at the point of need.
This is according to a roundtable discussion attended by senior public and private sector leaders from the North-West. The roundtable, Age of Collaboration, was held in Hale and hosted by Cheshire entrepreneur and older-age activist Sara McKee.
For this change to happen, the workforce needs to be redeveloped and a new way of working introduced where work is seen as a series of gigs rather than full-time employment. This ‘Gig economy’ would give staff greater flexibility and greater economies for organisations.
Sara McKee, Evermore Founder, said the sector is at cross-roads but with huge potential for growth. “Providers have been talking about shrinking local authority budgets for years yet haven’t adapted to changing market conditions. They need to completely rethink the way services are designed and delivered, and even how it is labelled, for the sector to survive.”
For older people, the ‘Uberfication’ of care will provide greater convenience and more choice, while ensuring their money goes further.
Roundtable special guest, Ray Glickman, former CEO of a respected Australian aged care provider, said, “The sector must change their mind-set about their customers and realise they are not passive recipients of care but active consumers. People want to buy services that are going to help them to continue living their lifestyle on their own terms, rather than what is dictated to them.”
Discussions also centred on how the sector could take advantage of the development of a Local Care Organisation to commission out of hospital care, which is part of the devolution of healthcare care in Manchester.
Roundtable participants included local representatives from the NHS, city council, housing trusts, property developers, architects and lawyers.