Help to Care, an innovative new mobile phone app, has been launched to support people who care for others in Kent and Medway.
The app, which has been created by The Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP), is the latest digital innovation from the NHS and social care in Kent and Medway.
It is free to download and use and is designed to help people spot the signs of a problem and find the right information and advice if you are worried about someone’s health and wellbeing.
It includes helpful guides, advice and training videos on common health conditions, such as diabetes, urinary tract infections and respiratory conditions. There is also an assessment section which helps you to decide if the person is developing a health problem that needs medical help.
Cathy Bellman, STP Local Care Lead, said: “Now more than ever, carers and care workers are being recognised as part of our essential workforce and are under enormous pressure to deliver in challenging circumstances.
“Carers across the county, both those in professional caring roles and members of the public who look after a relative or loved one, provide an invaluable role supporting the health and wellbeing of people with long-term health conditions who need extra help to live their lives.
“Help to Care has been created to empower carers to make the best decisions about the care they provide and feel confident about who they should call if they need further support.”
Clair Bell, Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health, said: “As the UK’s largest county, Kent has a vast number of carers and care workers who work selflessly to protect, support and care for our most vulnerable residents. The vital work they do, in both the community and care homes, is highly admirable, and I am delighted that this app has been developed to provide them with support and guidance and hopefully ease some of the pressures they experience now and in the future.”
Cllr David Brake, Medway Council’s Portfolio Holder for Adults’ Services, said: “The Help to Care app will help all carers, including those who look after friends or family members, access support and advice for themselves and if they believe the person they are caring for is unwell. The app will put them in contact with organisations and people who are there to help. This is a great example of our continued partnership working to ensure carers know they are not alone.”
You can download the app by searching for Help to Care in the app store on your Apple device, or in Google Play if you have an android device.
Notes for editors
The Help to Care app was based on the Stop Look carers’ booklet, designed by NHS Brighton and Hove Clinical Commissioning Group.
The Kent and Medway Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) brings together health and social care leaders from across the county, including all NHS organisations, Kent County Council and Medway Council. Our goal is to improve health and care services for our population so people receive better, more joined-up care.
The Design and Learning Centre (DLC) for Clinical and Social Innovation, is an innovation centre and facilitates new ways of working with a focus on the care sector workforce and technology. It is funded by adult social care, health and external funding. The DLC co-ordinated the user testing of the Help to Care app and is managing its development.
During the Covid-19 response, the app will contain messaging encouraging anyone who has concerns to use NHS 111 online in the first instance.
Users will also be encouraged to phone the person’s GP is they are worried about their health condition.