Plus Dane Housing is a provider of residential and extra care housing for older people, across Merseyside and Cheshire. With a portfolio of 13,500 owned and managed homes, the housing association has a strong social purpose, delivering services and products that target local needs and truly improve the lives of its residents, while protecting public investment.
Appello has been providing monitoring services to Plus Dane since May 2019. It’s specialist telecare team, manages the inbound emergency and support calls from vulnerable individuals in supported housing and the community that Plus Dane supports.
Often referred to as the fourth emergency service, telecare monitoring provides a lifeline to older and vulnerable residents 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. From urgent and life critical medical issues, to door calls, the monitoring team at Appello allows residents to remain independent and safe in their own homes for longer.
Monitoring, driven by data
The monitoring services provided by Appello are driven by its powerful data and analytics engine, AppelloSBR. In an emergency situation it’s vital that the operator has the right information available; from next of kin data, to known medical conditions, medication and door entry codes, so that it can be given to the emergency services if needed. But it goes beyond that. Having access to a 360-degree view of resident data allows the housing provider to improve its own processes and efficiency.
The simple to use, real-time data analytics suite is designed to provide better insight into the activities and needs of individuals. Before AppelloSBR, Plus Dane would be given a print out of resident data. The housing provider would then be required to review all of the information and send it back to the monitoring provider to be manually updated into the call platform. This was time consuming for the manager at the housing development, it also meant that data was more often than not only updated once a year.
AppelloSBR has completely changed the way that Plus Dane interacts with its customers. As Chris Birch, Older Persons Technology Lead at Plus Dane highlights: “AppelloSBR allows our managers to view and update residents’ details in real time. As a result, we know that the information the monitoring centre has is as up to date as possible. This allows us to improve the service that we offer residents. And, importantly ensure that if an emergency occurs, that the call operators have the full resident picture so that they can provide the correct information straight to the emergency services.
We know that the information the monitoring centre has is as up to date as possible. This allows us to improve the service that we offer residents.
Chris Birch, Older Persons Technology Lead at Plus Dane
“For the team, not being faced with a huge annual task to update all our resident and scheme information, such as fire records and approved contractors, will drastically drive time efficiencies, and reduce errors. Often, with handwritten forms, the information can be mis-read and recorded.”
Full transparency of calls, accessed remotely
With many housing managers now floating across multiple properties, it’s becoming increasingly important that they have access to real time information, and backdated data on resident calls to ensure the greatest level of service and knowledge.
With AppelloSBR, all house managers can see call data, from when a call took place, all the way through to the outcome, including how long it took the call to be answered by the monitoring centre. They can also access and update the system remotely, from any device, and add new residents on to the system so that monitoring can commence without delay. Previously, a form would have to be completed, scanned and then inputted onto the monitoring platform. Residents enter supported housing because they are vulnerable, so it’s critical that monitoring starts straight away.
This allows the house manager to be remote, yet have instant access to retrospective data when they are onsite. Without having to contact the monitoring centre and wait for the data as Chris Birch explains: “Our scheme managers are now starting to use AppelloSBR to view manager notes, meaning they don’t have to wait in queue to get them when they arrive on site, saving us time. For our customers that still live in the community, our staff can access the system on a mobile device and update the customers details in real time, without having to return to an office, reducing mileage costs and allowing them to spend more time with the customer.”
AppelloSBR is designed to be used by staff, with minimal training. Through the dashboard housing providers are easily able to see all call data enabling them to pinpoint changes in call patterns that may require intervention to a resident’s care and wellbeing plan.
Complying with GDPR
Without AppelloSBR, resident data would have to be transferred from resident to housing provider and then to the monitoring provider, in paper form or by email. From a data security point of view, this brings up a lot of red flags, especially around compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
Updating residents’ details in real time means there is no need to be emailing or posting paper copies of resident data, which helps them meet GDPR. Instead all of the information is securely stored online and not cached on any personal device.
Our staff can access the system on a mobile device and update the customers details in real time, without having to return to an office, reducing mileage costs and allowing them to spend more time with the customer.
Chris Birch, Older Persons Technology Lead at Plus Dane
A first step on journey to digital
Embracing Appello’s monitoring services and the SBR platform is already transforming resident services and staff efficiency at Plus Dane. But, the housing provider is not stopping there. This year they will join the growing number of housing providers to supply Appello’s digital telecare solution, Smart Living Solutions (SLS) and monitoring, into a number of its sites, replacing the current analogue systems.
Chris Birch concludes: “We are really excited about the installation of SLS and the digital monitoring from Appello. We’ve seen the difference instant two-way communication, and video can make to both residents and staff. From improved staff efficiency, to increased feelings of safety and reduced loneliness and social isolation for residents. Partnering with Appello will truly transform our services for older people.”