Startup Of The Week: Autumna

  • Autumna was founded by care industry guru Debbie Harris in 2019
  • More than 2.5 million care seekers each year now access Autumna’s directory of over 26,000 care providers
  • Through its innovative technology and quantitative data the company aims to improve transparency and standards across the entire social care sector





About Autumna


Current annual spending on social care in the UK sits at an eye-watering £15 billion. With an aging population (18% of the UK’s population is over 65), which will grow by 8.6 million in the next 50 years, this issue will not disappear.

However, Autumna just may have the solutions to combat these issues. 

Entrepreneur Debbie Harris has been an innovator and leader in the care industry for more than a decade and is labelled as the visionary who founded care home reviews. She founded Autumna to provide free, expert and trusted information in an easy-to-understand format by listing all 26,000 registered elder care providers in the UK. 

The start-up also offers a unique online Needs Assessment tool that guides families through a series of questions. Generating a shortlist of the right care, whilst simultaneously communicating with the shortlisted care providers. Matching the two together. 

This simple online assessment tool has significant applications. It is used by families, the NHS, Care Professionals and GPs. It has the potential to reduce bed blocking in hospitals with significant impact for both patients and the NHS budget.

And there’s more that Autumna can offer, in real time



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What are Autumna’s Latest Innovations?


Autumna has recognised the challenges providers face in providing real time availability data with external parties. The data is out of date within hours and doesn’t allow for individual patient requirements to be considered.

The company has developed, in partnership with care providers, an alternative way to provide this real-time, live availability for the first time and in doing so, turning on its head the way availability is identified.

Called D.A.D. (Dashboard for Accelerated Discharge) this unique automated approach communicates with care providers who have been pre-filtered on location, the type of care provided and budget requirements.  It requests confirmation of availability for the patient and their individual requirements.  As a result, the responses are accurate and provide live-time availability.

The automated system also reduces the hours spent calling or emailing care services by commissioners to just two minutes.  A shortlist of available, care and budget appropriate services is provided within 60 minutes of the request being submitted – significantly reducing the administration burden of commissioning. 

D.A.D. has been developed from a highly successful family facing tool providing the same service for individual family members. Fully operational for 12 months, the family facing tool supports over 3,000 families a month to source the care they need.  Of these, 21% are on behalf of a patient in hospital.  

  • Over 75% of care enquires find appropriate care through Autumna
  • Over 80% are looking to be placed in a care home
  • Over 10% are looking for homecare services
  • 85% are funding their own care
  • 50% are living with dementia 
  • 19% require respite care

The family facing tool is increasingly being used by social workers, GPs, and social prescribers as well as members of the public to help them find care and could support local authorities and the NHS to identify available care to discharge patients from hospitals quickly. 


What Does The Future Hold For Autumna?


Harris and her team at Autumna are not stopping there, as 2024 will see the launch of ‘OpenScore’ a unique algorithm pulling together external APIs to give an ‘at a glance’ care provider score and overview.