Catalyst 2017 Profile: Care Quest

In September we welcomed eight early-stage businesses to Catalyst: Southampton Science Park’s incubator for early stage businesses. Today we catch up with Care Quest.

The brainchild of Natalie Dobson, Joanne Barry and Philippe Preget, Care Quest hopes to make it faster and easier to obtain appropriate and available healthcare nationwide. Natalie Dobson tells us more.

Natalie, what are you creating? Care Quest is the bookings.com for healthcare if you like. We have created an online portal which brings together all healthcare providers to support patients’ care choices. This encompasses nursing homes, residential homes, learning disability homes and community care provision. There is no other system in the market that does this.

 

Who will benefit? Our approach will benefit everyone in the healthcare service chain. Firstly, the public will be able to source appropriate and available care provision. It is usually a daunting and stressful exercise to find the right provider for your needs – and you are often directed to a service which either isn’t suitable or is not available. We want to change this.

 

Hospitals will have a more effective discharge service through the ability to save time on sourcing available and appropriate care packages for their patients, enforcing the preparation of patient discharge on their arrival. This saves money and time for the NHS in delayed bed days, and helps A&E departments by freeing up beds.

 

Finally, community healthcare providers will gain more effective referrals in line with the services they can offer. They will have complete control to display their ever-changing availability and showcase their services to the public. As a marketing tool, they can use it to monitor engagement and feedback while also identifying opportunities to enhance their service proposition.

Why is this important? Everyone is aware of the pressure that the NHS is under nationwide. Some 1.75 million hospital bed days were lost in 2016 due to delays in sourcing care packages – this is a significant and unnecessary impact.

 

How does it work?  Care Quest is the only site which incorporates the full range of healthcare partners on one system. With a self-operated dashboard it acts as a ‘virtual ward’ giving a shared overview of patients and enabling effective communication between hospitals and community discharge services including CCG, adult services, local councils and healthcare providers.

 

What stage is the business at?  We have been focusing on developing the brand and the system itself, researching our market by engaging with the public, providers, hospitals and government representatives in healthcare. We have a complete working site and have commenced signing-up care providers. Importantly too, we have an agreement in principle to pilot the system in one local hospital with another hospital pending.

 

And what’s next? Following proof of concept, we will be focusing our efforts on engaging with the public and expanding our reach into new regions. We need to make a big impact very quickly and this will require support, resources and investment. Further down the line, we have in mind more software development, such as creating an app for example.

Ultimately, we will have succeeded if we have shortened delays in the NHS and improved care delivery to the public with a stress-free solution.

 

How did you feel when you were informed that you were successful in gaining entry to Catalyst? I was very excited and grateful for the opportunity, hoping it will accelerate the business and provide personal development to support the business growth. I’m looking forward to the challenges ahead and understand that nothing worth having comes easy. It is great to be working with like-minded people who all have the ambition to make a difference.

 

And how is it going so far? Catalyst has really strengthened my business. It has taught me to focus on my personal and business values and this has resulted in delivering a better service to my customers. I am far more mindful and focused now than I was before and the weekly sessions have been really informative.

 

Where can we find out more? www.care-quest.co.uk