Surrey chalks up a national first in carers' app technology

Surrey County Council has become the first local authority in the country to sign up for an innovative app that helps make caring easier for people who juggle work and looking after a loved one.

The app, called Jointly, helps those supporting family or friends keep track of medication, appointments and tasks, as well as connecting groups of carers so they can co-ordinate help and share information.

Surrey plans to roll out the technology developed by charity Carers UK to thousands of people from next month for free.

Jointly works on smartphones, tablets, laptops and home computers. Mel Few, Surrey County Council’s cabinet member for Adult Social Care, said: “We’re always willing to embrace innovation at the county council and Jointly takes a lot of the stress out of sharing the care by making it a lot more organised, giving family members peace of mind and those being cared for a better quality of life.”

British Gas and Surrey County Council are the first organisations to sign up to the Carers UK app, which launched last week.

Care for an ageing population and for those with illness or disability is a growing issue for society and business. There are already 6.5 million carers across the UK – half juggling care with work, a third caring for older relatives, alongside raising children.

Both Surrey County Council and British Gas are members of Carers UK’s business forum, Employers for Carers.

There are more than 100,000 carers in Surrey and the authority is rolling out the app to thousands of them, so they can keep friends and relatives in the loop about who is doing what and when to support a loved one.

Carers UK has been researching caring technologies for many years.

Madeleine Starr, Carers UK director of Business Development and Innovation, said: “We are delighted to have early sign up from two such important organisations. “The fact that growing numbers of people have a responsibility for looking after a loved one is an issue for all of our society. “Forward-thinking organisations like British Gas and Surrey County Council can make a real difference to the lives of those who are caring for loved ones.”

More information about the Jointly app can be found at: www.carersuk.org

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