Warwickshire County Council and partners take new carer online tool to Minister at Westminster

Representatives from Warwickshire County Council and Warwick University visited the Houses of Parliament to showcase a revolutionary new online tool that aims to support carers.

The tool, which is called Care Companion, was presented to Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for Care at Westminster.

Izzi Seccombe, Leader of Warwickshire County Council said:

“What we have in the online tool is a way in which people who have caring responsibilities can take 5 mins for themselves to reflect on their day and gather their thoughts. For many carers their responsibilities often leave them isolated without knowledge of what support is out there. However, Care Companion can connect them to local services and provide reliable information about the condition of the person they care for.”

Melanie Adekale, Carers’ Commissioner at Warwickshire County Council along with Professor Jeremy Dale from Warwick Medical School and software designer, Chris Sinclair of Global Initiative Ltd, spent half an hour talking with the Minister. Talks involved demonstrating how Care Companion works and how it could benefit other local authorities across the UK.

She added:

“Warwickshire County Council and its partners are committed to helping people with a caring responsibility by providing them with as much information and support as possible.”

Unlike other such tools within the sector, Care Companion provides people with caring responsibilities with the ability to record their mood via a mood monitor to ensure they can stay on top of their own mental health. A diary to keep on top of appointments and to the ability to log results and notes. The online tool can also help with advice and guidance on how to deal with scenarios they may face while caring for family members or friends.

As an online tool, Carers Companion has certainly left the Minister with lots to consider if it is to be rolled out across the sector.

Professor Jeremy Dale of Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick said:

“We had a very informative and fruitful discussion with the Minister of State for Social Care, who took great interest in Care Companion and the positive feedback that we’ve received from the many carers who have found it invaluable in helping them adapt to their caring responsibilities. Our next step is to take its success nationwide and our discussions with the Minister on how the Department of Health and Social Care could be involved in that showed great promise for the future.”

Care Companion has received support from local partners including Warwickshire County Council, Coventry and Rugby CCG and South Warwickshire CCG. Age UK Software development company Global Initiative is the technology partner for Care Companion and contributed funding through the Initiative Fund. Carers also played a very crucial role in the development of Care Companion.

The Care Companion is a confidential and free support for all residents of Warwickshire.