Specialist Mobile Service You can Trust: Call on Clare [Interview Transcript]


Presenter: Wayne Bucklar
Guest: Clare Cotter
Guest Bio: Clare is the owner of Call on Clare. In response to her own personal experience, Clare created Call on Clare in order to assist family members, carers, hospitals, facilities or medical professional relieve the stress and anxiety of meeting the demands in terms of health schedules, wardrobe management and care at social events.

Segment overview: In today’s Health Supplier Segment, hear about the services that Call on Clare has to offer. Created in 2009, this unique specialist mobile service aims to provide reliable and effective help not just in basic in-home care but for organizing events such as specialist medical appointments or day surgery as well.


Health Professional Radio

Wayne Bucklar: You’re listening to Health Professional Radio. My name is Wayne Bucklar and my guest today is Clare Cotter, director of “Call on Clare” – a business based in Melbourne, Victoria. Clare welcome to Health Professional Radio.

Clare Cotta: Thank you Wayne.

W: Now Clare, “Call on Clare” is a name that doesn’t give a lot away. Just explain to us what it is that Call on Clare does?

C: We do a variety of different things. We take people to medical appointments, we pick them up, we transport them to the appointment, we take notes, we act as their advocates when we’re in the appointment with them. Those notes are being send to other health professionals that are involved to get the care of that person, sent to the family and also the client has them to refer to. Quite often when you’re ill you don’t take things in. So it’s good to have someone assist you plus if you had surgery, you might not be able to drive. We drive you to that appointment, we provide care in the home post-surgery. Quite often, people are discharged too early and they need help at home. So we have nurses that can assist people through their independence. We take people out, socialization, we take people to weddings and look after them. They might be elderly frail or chronically ill and that means that the family can get themselves ready, they don’t have to worry about the members of the family that’s old – we look after them. Also the ceremony and take them home when they want to go home and it doesn’t disrupt the event. We also have got a specialist palliative care team where we look after people in the home that wish to die in their home. We set up a hospital bed, we got everything that you might need that a hospital would have – catheters, needles, syringes everything – there is supplied in the home. And we have training for those nurses that’s a specialized team. We’re the only one that have specialist trained in palliative care nurses, that we provide training for every once a month and that goes towards their goals registration. So it’s recognized by the Nursing federation of Australia. We do just about anything that our client requires. All of our staff at Division I or retired Division I and they’re all interviewed in their private homes and we meet their references personally and I’m just touching with here, we’ve never had anything untoward happened to any our clients.

W: Clare that certainly a much wider service than just a nursing service. How did you get into this sort of arrangement?

C: I was ill myself, which was going now for about 6 years. And I was ill post-surgery myself probably about seven and a half years ago or a bit longer and I wanted somebody to take me to my appointment and not only was I’m not able to drive that I needed someone to look after me because I was a bit unsteady on my feet. So I wanted someone come into the appointment with me and even though I’ve got a nursing background, my thinking wasn’t that clear because I was unwell. So I wanted someone to come with me and take notes so that then I could refer back to them but unfortunately I didn’t have anybody that was available because a lot of people, you know they’re all working. And so it was until another month until I could actually attend the appointment that I needed to attend when I was able to drive myself and well enough to get there. So what I could see that there was a need out there in the community.

W: So really you have invented a business design on your own needs and obviously it’s resonated in the community if you’ve been around for as long as you have. Would you do things differently if you’re starting over again?

C: No, I don’t think so. No, not at all. I’ve really started off with the idea in mind with medical appointments and then I’ve had a lot of people approach me to social bookings. We’ve found a family that approach us and said that the mother or father are isolated and they need to get out. Also a lot of aged care facilities have approach us and say can we take some of their clients out to socialization, because a lot of them are depressed. So we do that now, we take people out for lunch or for coffee or exhibitions. Also that’s how the palliative care came about. I had doctors approach us to provide palliative care for their clients because they liked our staff. So they wanted to use our staff. So I trained, I paid for training for the staff initially and then as it grew we got a girl that’s got a masters in palliative care that does the training. So we provide the training now for the staff. So it’s all growing out of the niche gather them it was my idea first going to medical appointments that the community, our clients are actually approached us with various needs. And we’ve provided the service for that and also with weddings. We got a lot of people ask us for weddings and we go in and prepare the clients, get them dressed, put their make up on and look after them.

W: Now sometimes Clare you don’t get a lot of notice. Can you respond very quickly?

C: Yes. Most of our bookings over 60% of our bookings are on the day or we get bookings the day before because the family might be sick that they’re going to take their loved one to an appointment or the client themselves their sick. So they ring us up and say, “Can you take us to the doctor?” I think there’s only been about 4 or 5 bookings we have not been able to fill.

W: That’s a great service to offer. Clare if you’re talking to doctors and nurses in hospitals which is the majority of our audience, what would you like them to know about your service?

C: That we’re got skilled nurses, that they’re professionals. They’re all Div. I nurses or retired Div. I nurses not meaning elderly but they may taking up their training certificates and they have children. So they can care for the client so they know how to transfer the clients in and out of the wheelchairs if they’re in the wheelchair. They know if the client need medications. They’ve got that medical expertise because even though we charge carer rate for a lot of our bookings, our clients get professionals to look after them. Also they can communicate with the doctors and the nurses. They know what they’re talking about and they can then translate into every normal everyday communication to the clients themselves.

W: Clare, do people need to be referred to you or can they just self-refer?

C: They can self-refer. Absolutely, they can give us a call and we can go through what we do. We can come out and meet them. There’s no cost for that. We can get a medical history, a lot of our clients are referred by hospitals and doctors themselves but absolutely they can give us a call.

W: Now I’m always getting in trouble when I do this. When I say give us a call then I don’t give the number. So Clare what’s the best number to call you on?

C: It’s 03 9001 9762

W: And if you missed that number, it will be available on our website in the transcript. Clare, if there’s a misconception about your business and about what Call on Clare does that drives you nuts and keeps you awake, what’s that misconception?

C: That we’re just a care service. People think such we provide in-home care which a lot of services do. We do do in-home care but it’s very specialized. We provide trained staff for that, our staff there’s a trust issue with our staff that they’re all interviewed in their private homes and I meet their referees personally, that they speak clear English. It’s a highly professional service. So it’s not just a carer that comes to attend the professional staff member and they can take them to their doctors appointment, act as an advocate for them when they go to the doctor. Yes, much more than just a carer.

W: You’ve been listening to Health Professional Radio with Wayne Bucklar. I’ve been in conversation with Clare Cotter of ‘Call on Clare,’ a Melbourne based service. Now for more information the website is www.callonclare.com.au. We’ll have a transcript and an audio file in our archive at www.hpr.fm. Clare, thank you for your time. It’s been lovely to chat with you. It’s a service that I’m sure lots of people will need either now or in the future.

C: Thank you Wayne very much for giving us this opportunity.

W: A pleasure to talk with you Clare. This is Wayne Bucklar for Health Professional Radio.

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