|Rob and Lynn Osborne|
The service is also providing the information that is increasingly being required of local authorities across the country, but which many councils are struggling to provide.
Lyndhurst-born social care expert Rob Osborne launched Choosemycare.com with his wife Lynn after recognising there was a need for people who are looking for care, often at a time of great stress, to find the information they needed quickly and efficiently.
There are already hundreds of care providers from Southampton, Winchester, the New Forest and right across Hampshire enrolled on the service and there are ambitious plans to broaden it regionally and nationally.
“It is clear that people needed a way to cut through the red tape and the difficulties of getting to the right care provider for their needs,” said Rob, a Department of Health social care consultant who has worked with local authorities on their care provision.
“Choosemycare.com makes it easy for people to find the right care provider in their area, and as we develop the site there will be even easier ways for people to get the service they need at what is usually a time of great stress or upset.
“Local authorities are coming under increasing pressure to provide greater choice and information about what care is available, and we are taking that pressure off them and providing all the local information they need to fulfill their obligations and inform the people in their area.”
Choosemycare.com conducted a survey ahead of their launch that showed that almost half the people who start out looking for care services in the south don’t know where to begin to find the support they or their family need.
Almost nine out of every 10 people would start on the internet first, and 75 per cent of care and support service providers said they would welcome a national web-based brokerage service to put them in touch with those people looking for care services.
Lynn Osborne added: “We have already got several hundred members for Choosemycare.com in Hampshire alone and we intend to make this a nationwide service as we develop.
“Choosemycare.com is the one-stop shop for anyone who needs to find a care and support service but doesn’t know where to start. It is only Hampshire based at the moment but we are adding new members all the time.”