A new service that enables consumers – and other businesses – to book qualified care workers via an app has launched in South Australia.

Ubercare – unrelated to the ride-sharing company Uber – allows people to access carers at any time of the day, usually within 15-30 minutes.

In an interview with the Adelaide Advertiser, founder Simon Chappel, said Ubercare is the first of its kind in which people can book carers at short notice who are qualified, insured and have police checks.

“Ubercare is the first service of its kind in the world that allows people to find carers at short notice in a similar way that Uber users access a ride,” he said.

The company already has a database of almost 500 approved and qualified carers, who have a minimum qualification of Cert III in Individual Care.

Charges start at $36 per hour, and carers then pay Ubercare $10 per hour plus GST as an agency fee.

If carers abandon a job or do not turn up they may be charged a $40 dishonour fee by Ubercare.

Chappel, who is a successful property developer and a founding partner of “On Statenborough” a retirement living complex, said the app has been launched to coincide with the NDIS rollout.

It works in much the same way as Uber ride-share, with an alert sent out to registered carers in the proximity and the first person who responds gets the job.

While consumers can’t book their favourite carer in advance through the app, Ubercare gives tips on how to work the proximity-based system on its website.

Once a carer responds to a booking, their picture appears on the client’s phone showing their hourly rate, estimated time of arrival and a star-rating.

The consumer can either skip or accept the carer and then once confirmed, see them travelling and track their proximity to your home.

Clinical services are not on offer, but personal care, meal assist, social support and respite care are all available, along with cleaning.

Ubercare does not offer services to drive clients around, though carers can accompany people on walks and outings via public transport.

While the app is promoted to carers as an income booster, clients are not screened and limited protections are in place for carers.