Care Sourcer: Plugging the UK care gap

We recently announced a number of investments into some of the most exciting digital tech companies in the UK. Through our series of guest blog posts in conversation with their founders, we’re going to uncover what makes them tick and what the future holds… This time, meet Andrew Parfery, Chief Commercial Officer and Co-Founder at Care Sourcer…

Care Sourcer‘s mission is to make it easier and quicker for care seekers to find a care provider. It gives choice and control back to the care seeker, enabling them to prevent delays in hospital for their loved one and choose the provider that best suits their needs. Care Sourcer is creating a new marketplace for care – the only marketplace for private care in the UK.

When was Care Sourcer born and how was it conceived?

Care Sourcer was launched in June 2016 in response to the failing care market within the UK. Previously my co-founder and I were owner/managers of home care providers, which delivered over 1M care visits per annum. We saw that changing population trends, combined with high numbers of care seekers and care providers, required a marketplace. So we built Care Sourcer – the UK’s first comparison and matching website for care. Our ambition is to become the Rightmove for care, expanding into Europe and the US.

What kind of care are your users looking for?

Typically we support people to find care home places, live in care, or secure home care. There are currently 1.3M people in receipt of these services, in a UK care market worth £22B, and with a further 1.2M people requiring care but not currently receiving it.

How do seekers currently access care?

60% of people receive state-funded care but with the recent Conservative manifesto pledge to include the value of homes in financial assessments, we project this will drop to 20% within 5 years. For the 40% who are currently self-funders, they have to fund their own provider – often needing to contact up to 20 providers from a list or directory in order to try and find one that operates in their area with capacity, the appropriate quality grades, and that’s affordable for their budget. In other words, it’s tough.

What is the size of the market in the UK and globally?

The UK market is valued at £22B with a global market of £2.3T.

How have the lessons you learnt from rolling out the service in Scotland and in your previous businesses informed your approach to a wider UK launch?

Due to the free nature of the NHS and access to a GP, many people also perceive care to be free. Most are shocked when discovering they will be personally liable to pay. We need to educate people so that they plan early and then help them when they are making what is a distress purchase.

The health sector is ripe for disruption, how are you going to play a part in this?

We champion the son or daughter struggling to find care for their mum or dad; we recognise providers for the vital service they provide; and through technology we help people find the right care quickly when they need it the most. Ultimately we’re creating a new care marketplace through which care seekers can find the services they need, and care providers can regain control of the services they offer.

What are the big lessons you’ve learned about scaling a business in the health sector?

Firstly, there are so many opportunities that you have to focus and be comfortable that those you pass on can be revisited at a later point. Secondly health and social care is one of the industries yet to embrace or experience a technological revolution. That’s partly because many people in this sector are operationally focused and stretched day to day. We need to make sure our proposition helps the care seeker, the provider, and then Care Sourcer in that order.

What’s the next step to take Care Sourcer to the next level?

We are already onboarding a stellar team far beyond that which a company of our size should be able to attract. For example, we recently employed Graham Jones, who was Senior Director for Engineering at Fanduel and Grant Smith, Founder of Barrachd, following its exit to Capita in 2016. This calibre of team is the foundation for scaling at speed. We’re lucky to be based in Codebase, on Skyscanner’s and Fanduel’s front door, with the highest concentration of developers within 1 square mile in Europe. We find it’s the social value of our mission that attracts the best talent.

We’ll be profiling more of our portfolio companies in the near future. To stay up to date with all of our updates, sign up to our newsletter.

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