Professor Peter Lloyd-Sherlock | University of East Anglia; Dr. Nelida Redondo | SIDOM Foundation
Competition Sponsor: UK Research & Innovation
Awardee Year: 2020
A partnership between: University of East Anglia, Red Mayor La Plata, Fundación SIDOM and the Buenos Aires Province Chamber of Care Homes and Day Care Centres.
Developing countries already contain large numbers of older people with social care needs, leading to a rapid growth in private provision, including residential services. In 2010 Argentina’s Union of Gerontological Service Providers estimated the country already contained 6,000 residential care homes. Many of them operate on an informal, entirely unregulated basis.
We have developed an online platform for sharing information about the quality of services in care homes for the city of La Plata, Argentina. This responded to concerns about poor service quality, an absence of public information and the limited capacity of official local regulators. The site, launched in 2019, consists of a simple interactive information-sharing platform (http://www.redmayorlaplata.com/).
The site provides updated information about care homes and a set of service quality principles, developed in partnership with care home directors. It enables service users to provide feedback about providers. This feedback is not directly published on the site: instead, complaints are investigated and providers removed from the site if they are confirmed. The site also provides general information for service users to support the selection and assessment of social care services, and (more recently) the status of the COVID-19 pandemic in local care homes. We believe this unique intervention may have wide applicability across developing countries, where the capacity of government regulators is often limited and many care homes operate on an informal basis.
Our project will evaluate the La Plata intervention, along with new related projects by other organisations in Argentina. We will assess the feasibility and potential benefits of massively scaling up over the next three years.
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