Social care startup cera has partnered with some of the UK’s biggest hospitals in a bid to become something similar to an Uber for patients who need carers. The deal will help doctors in London select and request assistance from a pool of trained carers who can help patients with tasks at home, potentially freeing up hospital beds for additional people. At the same time, the company has also joined with Uber itself to provide transport for these carers and patients, making it easier for them to make their way back home. Cera, launched last November, was designed to match carers with people seeking assistance. The company today announced a partnership with the National Health Service’s biggest trust — Barts Health NHS Trust — as well as a number of clinical commissioning groups in London that will allow doctors to refer patients to carers via the Cera platform. With its platoon of carers on hand, Cera says it can provide trained assistance either at the hospital bed or at home within 24 hours, as opposed to the weeks it can take the NHS to provide help. The partnership with Uber also means that Cera’s carers, and the people they are caring for, will be able to book Uber’s cars for a variety of purposes, including travel to and from hospitals. Carers will also be able to book fully wheelchair-accessible cars through Uber’s UberWAV service, or for passengers who may need help collapsing walkers or other mobility aids, its UberASSIST service. Uber notes that its UberASSIST drivers have been through disability equality training courses, making them capable of assisting disabled passengers and seniors during their journeys, helping to heft scooters and wheelchairs into vehicles. The new service will become available to Cera carers in London first — the company hasn’t yet announced whether it will become available in other cities (or countries) in the future.
Uber wrote the following on their website about UberAssist:
“At Uber, we strive to create transportation options that fit everyone’s needs. Today we are announcing a new option that will allow riders needing an extra hand to request safe and reliable rides at the tap of a button — UberASSIST.”
UberASSIST is designed to provide additional assistance to seniors and people with disabilities. Driver-partners are specifically trained by Open Doors Organization to assist riders into vehicles and can accommodate folding wheelchairs, walkers, and scooters.