Warwick resident’s fight to help bed crisis

Mira Balac
Mira Balac

A woman who left her corporate career to start her own business is offering a care alternative that could ease the bed blocking issue in hospitals

Mira Balac, who has lived in Rowington near Warwick for 10 years, left her corporate career after three decades to start up her own business to make a difference in her local community.

In September 2016 the 54 year old started running her own Promedica24 franchise, which offers an alternative option to residential care homes in south Warwickshire and north Gloucestershire.

The European company’s mission is to keep elderly and vulnerable people out of hospitals and care homes by providing 24-hour, live-in care in the comfort of their own homes.

Ms Balac said: “I always wanted to do something that makes a difference. Now I have the best of both worlds; a growing business, a sense of community and a real pride that I’m giving people a chance to receive the care they need in the comfort of their own homes.

“So many people either get stuck in hospital because there’s no one to take care of them at home or they’re forced to leave their homes and move into residential care.”

Wanting to make a difference in her community and to try and help with the national bed blocking crisis, Ms Balac has been approaching local hospitals and GP surgeries to spread the word.

She said: “I have started to raise awareness that alternative options exist locally – this includes personally hand delivering over 200 letters to our local GPs.

“I have not had any response as yet. I have tried to identify key contacts in hospitals who can signpost awareness, but again, I have had no response.”

Despite the lack of response in the health sector, Ms Balac has had positive feedback from the community. She said: “From the people who I have spoken to, everybody loves the idea of being able to stay in their own home.

“We had a lady who enjoys smoking so for her to go into a residential care home, it wouldn’t be possible for her to smoke. We are able to let her stay in her home.

“With us people can do what they want to do in their own homes. Every person is different and everyone gets a bespoke service.”

Ms Balac’s has said that she has hit a wall with trying to make the alternative known to those in the health care sector despite the on-going issues with the lack of hospital beds.

“It has been very frustrating as it seems to be very difficult to get people to think creatively about the solution to this problem”, she said.

“With the widely reported current crisis in our hospitals, a disjointed approach within the NHS, and a huge hole in the finances for social care, I fully acknowledge that live-in care might not be for everyone.

“But I strongly believe it’s a helpful option and I do hope our local healthcare professions here in Warwickshire will embrace live-in care, where possible, rather that continuing with a failing system that will continue to fail our communities going forward.

“I know that I can help and I’m passionate about doing the right thing so I refuse to sit idly by whilst the problem gets worse.

“Call me a crusader but it’s true. I’m determined to help people to stay in the heart of the community so that they can maintain their social connections and a sense of independence.”