Endorsed by Care England and the National Care Forum, the easy-to-use National Care Force platform will address the urgent need faced by the social care sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. The free online platform is a not-for-profit organisation with charitable status pending, powered by healthcare staffing technology firm Florence. It works by connecting volunteers with opportunities to help across the social care sector. Opportunities are posted directly to the platform by the care providers who have joined.
Florence founders Dr. Charles Armitage (former NHS doctor) and Dan Blake developed the National Care Force. The new platform will allow social care providers, healthcare workers and volunteers across the UK to register to use the platform now. 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 what help they need. The platform’s algorithm will match relevant opportunities to users. Volunteers apply, and the care provider will select a candidate to help.
Doctors, nurses, care workers, support workers, physiotherapists and occupational therapists are all able to join. They can volunteer to cover clinical staff rota gaps in a variety of care settings. Anyone can join as a volunteer, regardless of work background. They can volunteer for opportunities such as picking up shopping for those self-isolating, or in-home care such as cleaning and laundry. Social care providers who can join include care homes, home care services and local authorities. They will be registered with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).