LaingBuisson launches consumer website
Health and social care market analysts LaingBuisson have launched CareHomeAdvisor, a consumer website which informs people which care homes provide the best quality care.
Endorsed by Age UK, Independent Age and Care England, CareHomeAdvisor is is a free-to-use consumer-facing website which aggregates quality performance data on individual care homes in real-time via Application Program Interfaces (APIs) from independent sources, including The Care Quality Commission (CQC), The Food Standards Agency (FSA), NHS Choices and Ipsos MORI’s independent Customer Satisfaction survey Your Care Rating (YCR).
These sources are then combined with LaingBuisson’s proprietary survey data and each care home is awarded a unique star rating and a score out of 100. LaingBuisson business development manager Heidi Nicholson said that, because everything is updated in real time, if a care home’s rating from one of these sources changes, e.g. a care home’s CQC assessment is updated, the score on CareHomeAdvisor will change immediately to reflect this.
“Choosing a care home can be highly emotive,” said Ms Nicholson.
“Rarely something that is planned ahead, people often find they have to make an important decision either for themselves or a loved-one in little time and often in difficult circumstances.
“When they turn to the internet for help with this decision, information is spread across numerous sources and much of the information available is highly subjective, based on ‘Trip Advisor’-style consumer reviews. While people’s views are valid, and in many cases heart-felt, they may not be helpful to the person who is having to decide what is best and there is a lack of easily comparable information on long-term care options. CareHomeAdvisor fills this void by using objective, moderated facts and the views of experts in care.”
Ms Nicholson said LaingBuisson was working to raise awareness of the CareHomeAdvisor website and had written to local authorities, Clinical Commissioning Groups, NHS Trusts and general media outlets. LaingBuisson were approached last year by Emma Challans, deputy chief operating officer of a leading NHS Foundation Trust, with the idea and she became the consumer champion and ambassador for CareHomeAdvisor.
“I was disappointed by the lack of impartial information and in particular, the lack of it being all in one place to allow people to make informed choices about which care home would be most suitable for their loved one,” said Ms Challans.
“Working with LaingBuisson, we have been able to develop this unique idea in a way that I believe will truly add value to consumers. CareHomeAdvisor is a truly remarkable, simple and user friendly aid for consumers. LaingBuisson chief executive Henry Elphick described Carehomeadvisor.com as an independent website, owned by LaingBuisson and not aligned with any care home provider.
“It does not allow advertising by any care home provider on its home page and is endorsed by organisations such as Age UK, Independent Age and Care England,” said Mr Elphick.
“CareHomeAdvisor is also impartial. It does not use TripAdvisor type rankings. It uses data from LaingBuisson, the Care Quality Commission, NHS Choices, Ipsos MORI’s Your Care Rating, the Food Standards Agency and the Health & Safety Executive. It does this because judging the quality of care is not as straightforward as judging the quality of a restaurant or hotel – it is complex and emotional and the focus is therefore on objective, moderated facts and the views of experts in care.
“We wanted to develop something that was as arms-length and as objective as possible. It was also important for us, as a company, to develop a service in keeping with our reputation for the provision of authoritative market intelligence and data.”
Carehomeadvisor.com currently only covers care home in England but will soon be extended to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.