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Latest information on our response to Coronavirus
5th January 2021
Happy New Year – Service Update
Firstly, I would like to begin by wishing you and your customers a Happy New Year from everyone at Appello.
As we all know, last year was incredibly tough. However, we witnessed how teamwork and communities can come together to meet any challenge. I’m immensely proud of the work of my colleagues at Appello, who have ensured we are always there for our service users, and these last 10 months have shone a light on the important role our housing and care sector plays in our communities – thank you.
For those of you that joined our latest customer webinar in December, you will have seen that the challenges of COVID did not stifle innovation. As a business we have been quick to adapt and implement new procedures, and we have worked tirelessly to implement new services and offerings to meet the need of our customers in the current climate. The Technology Enabled Care sector has taken many steps forward, and Appello continue to lead the way.
These are the reasons why I’m confident that as new restrictions are announced our customers are in safe hands and Appello are well placed to continue to meet these challenges.
These new guidelines are clear to state that where work is required to be undertaken in a home it should continue. Therefore, our installations of Smart Living Solutions will continue as normal. We will remain implementing the rigorous and safe COVID specific measures we have been successfully applying for nearly 12 months.
Shielding has been reduced to only include the ‘Clinically Extremely Vulnerable’ and is no longer a requirement for anyone aged 70+. Where appropriate we will continue to liaise with customers on specific requirements.
Smart Living Solutions has played a significant role in supporting many customers during the last year, and these benefits were widely recognised resulting in unprecedented orders. Therefore, we are very committed to maintaining our installation services in the safest manner.
As you may have read in my previous communications, our monitoring teams are rightly classed as Keyworkers for the important role they play. However, our award winning, cloud hosted monitoring platform, CareNet, has enabled us to utilise remote working where required.
This facility has now been in operation for 9 months, and is working admirably, adding unprecedented robustness and flexibility to the Appello monitoring service. Throughout 2020, we were effective in creating a balance of office and remote working that enables us to meet all appropriate distancing and workplace guidelines – we expect this to continue for the next few months.
Lastly, I would like to remind you to register for our @appello webinars which take place quarterly. These are a great place to hear about everything we are doing to support our customer now and in the future. The next one is taking place on Thursday 11 March, 1.30pm.
Thank you again for all your support and collaboration during these difficult times, and I look forward to working with you throughout 2021.
Tim Barclay, CEO, Appello
28th September 2020
Keeping in touch
Here at Appello we hope you all have stayed safe and well and that you have managed to enjoy some of the summer.
I wanted to stay in touch as the coronavirus challenges are still here and seem to be on the increase as we move towards winter. We believe that continuing to work closely with our customers will help us all provide the strongest response on behalf of their customers, and maintaining communication is an important part of that.
I wanted to reassure you that at Appello we are well prepared for the winter and any potential increase in the impact of COVID-19;
We have worked very hard with our customers to ensure that our deployment teams meet all the government guidelines to ensure we are working safely within individuals properties. COVID-19 has become a key risk that we manage, just like many other operational risks. So, as you would expect, our teams are fully trained on COVID-19 procedures, equipped with everything from thermometers to PPE, and sensitive to specific site requirements. Over the last few months, we feel we have become experts at working in this new normal and therefore are confident in maintaining SLS deployments throughout the winter.
If you are interested in learning more about SLS, please get in touch and we can arrange a virtual demonstration of the way SLS improves safety and quality of life. Alternatively in October we will be opening our new demonstration facility at our monitoring centre in Chippenham where we can accommodate demos safely. The New Milton showcase is also available for smaller groups.
To help support you in this respect we have been exploring with partners the option to offer your customers more extensive proactive reassurance services. We will be sharing details of these exciting new offerings soon.
Lastly, while there are clear challenges that all of us face in delivering service, this has also been an exciting time for finding new ways of working. As the leader in digital TECS we are very excited about these changes in our industry and so we have decided to launch our @appello: customer update webinars. These will take place quarterly and provide an opportunity for you to hear about the trends that are taking place and how Appello can help you capitalise on them, as well as insights we think you will find valuable from across the sector. Additionally, this is another opportunity for you to ask questions and tell us your thoughts.
You can register for these sessions by clicking the below link, the first is taking place on;
Wednesday 9th December 1.30pm
Thank you again for all your support and collaboration during these difficult times.
Tim Barclay, CEO, Appello
1st July 2020
An update from Tim Barclay, CEO, on our response to COVID-19
As restrictions in the UK are easing, we hope you and your loved ones are healthy and that your organisations are starting to see signs of recovery.
Many of our customers are returning to more normal operations, albeit in different capacities and with new procedures in place. Therefore, I wanted to provide you with an update on how Appello are operating.
The last few months have been challenging for everyone, but we have always remained dedicated to being there for the vulnerable in our communities and on coming out of this as a stronger organisation. The commitment from our teams has filled us with pride, and the feedback we have received from customers has been testament to this.
As you will be aware from my previous communications, as soon as the scale of the potential disruption became clear, we rolled out a work from home capabilities for our monitoring operators. This has been utilised sparingly, but very effectively and has helped us sustain a high level of performance throughout Covid. As we move forward, we will look to identify where this valuable capability will be utilised most appropriately. We will keep you updated on this, but the last few months have certainly shown that, alongside multi-site working, this is a significant Business Continuity benefit to have as a monitoring provider.
More widely, it’s been tremendous to hear the many reports of outstanding efforts by individuals, by frontline workers and by those within communities. We’ve been delighted to also hear stories of how our technology has supported new ways of living in these unusual times – from enabling video bingo within housing developments, or by facilitating staff working remotely to continue to support, communicate with, and monitor their residents.
For this reason, I am delighted that over May, June and now into July we have been gradually – and with safety as the guiding principle – resuming deployment of our digital telecare suite, Smart Living Solutions, at customer properties. We have developed rigorous COVID-Safe installation procedures aligned to government guidance, so I was pleased to receive this customer feedback from a property where we are currently deploying SLS…..
“The Appello team have gone to great lengths to ensure a safe environment and processes to install Smart Living Solutions at our development. There is clear commitment to following government guidance by ensuring appropriate distancing, hygiene and procedures are followed. This has provided reassurance to all staff and residents who have welcomed the team and look forward to using the new digital system.”
As a business we are aware that challenges may lie ahead, including the potential for localised, and even possibly national, flare-ups. However, we are even more aware that there are important learnings from the last few months that can transform how Technology Enabled Care Services (TECS) are used and how they can benefit society. We are focussed on not just pressing repeat, we are already actively looking at how we can embrace and drive positive change.
To further inform our thinking, this week, in partnership with HousingLIN, we are launching a survey to identify changes in perceptions on TECS and to identify best practices for the sector moving forward. The insight will form a series of reports due in the Autumn that you can register to receive. We would welcome your insight and ask that you please take 5 minutes to complete the survey.
I want to finish by saying thank you for your support. As always, we have done our best to deliver well for you, our customers, and we appreciate your assistance in helping us do that. The result has been that hopefully we are coming through this stronger together. As we do go forward, we’ll be sure to keep you updated, and know that we always value your questions, ideas and feedback.
Thank you again
13th May 2020
‘Installing Appello Smart Living Solutions whilst adhering to government workplace guidance:’
As the COVID-19 pandemic has developed in the UK, Appello have been very quick to adhere to guidelines and implement measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our customers, service users and staff.
We have invested in and implemented many changes which we are delighted have enabled us to maintain delivery of the vital services we offer to over 200,000 vulnerable individuals across the UK.
Additionally, we have been pleased to hear from customers that during this pandemic their investment in our digital telecare suite, Smart Living Solutions, has been hugely beneficial. Many of the features have improved the wellbeing of residents and supported their housing organisation to cope with these unprecedented challenges.
“As a provider of retirement housing who uses the Appello system throughout many of our schemes, we are directly experiencing the advantages of the video interaction and remote working connectivity to our sites. This is providing a significant benefit during this period of social isolation / distancing from a social and wellbeing perspective.”
David Mayes, Property Improvement Manager, Housing21
As the situation has evolved, we have anticipated that some workplace guidelines would remain in place longer term, and therefore how we operate would need to be adapted accordingly. As an example, over the last 6 weeks we have been working hard to determine and implement new operating processes that enable us to deliver the orders for Smart Living Solutions that we are continuing to receive.
Earlier this week, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) in consultation with Public Health England (PHE) and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), published the guidance ‘Working safely during COVID-19 in other people’s homes’. We have reviewed these extensively and identified those relating to the deployment of new Smart Living Solutions provision.
We are pleased that these guidelines protect the wellbeing of our customers, service users and staff whilst enabling us to safely install and commission Smart Living Solutions. To ensure we meet these guidelines we have:
Our Method Statement outlines how we meet all the relevant Government recommendations and our processes for the use of PPE, Sanitising Kits and social distancing.
We are delighted that many customers are keen to introduce Smart Living Solutions imminently to replace old Telecare equipment that has provided no extra support for social inclusion, or operational efficiency during this time. We are pleased they recognise the substantial benefits of deploying Smart Living Solutions during these restrictions and we are committed to ensuring this is done safely and whilst adhering to Government guidelines.
If you have any questions at all about our approach to COVID-19, please visit
www.appello.co.uk/COVID-19 or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim Barclay, CEO, Appello
17th April 2020
‘An update from Appello’
On behalf of everyone at Appello, we hope you and your loved ones are healthy and safe at this time.
As the government has announced that we will maintain strict social distancing measures for at least another three week, we wanted to let you know what’s been happening at Appello.
Over the past few weeks we have been working incredibly hard to ensure that we continue to deliver the vital service we offer to over 200,000 vulnerable individuals across the UK. It’s been a challenge, but one we are very proud to say our teams have been up for.
As recognised keyworkers we have maintained a strong core of employees and management working across our three, monitoring centres in Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire. We have implemented appropriate safety measures where possible and have been able to ensure desks are a minimum of two meters apart.
Our investment in our award-winning digital call handling platform, has enabled us to implement working from home where operators need to self-isolate, but are fit to work. We have set out stringent guidelines for how service will be delivered under those circumstances and have been monitoring compliance constantly.
We are delighted that implementing these instances of working from home have helped support our service levels. In fact, we have found these capabilities provide us with greater ability to meet sudden changes in call traffic.
The last few weeks have given us even greater pride in the services our teams deliver to the most vulnerable in our communities. We’ve received some great messages of appreciation and these have really helped to maintain the morale of our teams. If you would like to share any feedback, or have any queries please contact email@example.com.
Below are a just a couple of the comments from the last few days:
“It is much appreciated that you are updating us on the measures Appello is taking in maintaining the excellent standards that it gives in these difficult times. This is also a great comfort for our residents. We hope all your employees continue to stay safe, and they should be reassured with the stringent guidelines that you have implemented.”
Crossfield Housing Association
“I wanted to make contact with you to thank you for your support at this challenging time. Our Contract Manager here at Curo, tells me you have been keeping in regular contact with us and all of your clients to provide updates on the changes you have made to ensure business continuity.
We very much appreciate the efforts you have made to roll out working from home equipment for your team, ensuring you can continue to support our customers out of office. I understand that this has been a significant financial outlay for your business and we thank you for doing this.”
Curo Housing Association
In addition last Thursday evening we were unbelievably touched that a resident decided to press their alarm to come through to our monitoring centre, just so she could clap our operators. It is not something we would recommend as it could impact service, however the gesture was incredibly thoughtful.
Lastly, we recognise that the extended functionality of our digital telecare suite, Smart Living Solutions are supporting housing organisations and their customers through self-isolation and the associated changes in working processes.
A number of our customers have been utilising these capabilities to support communication with residents and changes in the way they operate.
We will now be running two live webinars that will explore these practices with you, and will provided some guidance, with useful instructions, on how Smart Living Solutions can make things a little easier.
If you would like to register for these please visit www.appello.co.uk/events
2nd April 2020
In not much longer than a week, like many businesses, we have made significant adjustments to how we deliver our services.
Our focus has been on maintaining the delivery of the important services we provide, without compromising the welfare of our employees, customers and service users.
It’s been a great team effort, and in the words of one of our customers we have had many ‘unseen heroes’. It is very rewarding to know that our efforts are being noticed, and the positive feedback received from many customers is great motivation for employees who are continuing to work in very unusual circumstances to ensure the safety of the most vulnerable in our communities.
We do not often we give ourselves the ‘pat on the back’ we deserve, but we feel our employees really deserve these comments, and proudly wanted to share a few of them.
“I personally would like to say a huge thank you to you and your colleagues for the hard work that you all do behind the scenes. Granted, the doctors and nurses on the front line are doing an excellent job with the minimum of resources available, but, you and others who work tirelessly behind the scenes supporting our vulnerable owners are priceless and deserve more praise, ‘unseen heroes’.”
Development Manager, FirstPort Scotland
“I was very impressed with the help you gave me to set up my equipment whilst at home self-isolating. You were outstanding and a credit to Appello.”
Resident, Duchess of Kent Court
“I want to pass on some special praise to your team with helping us on telecare equipment compatibility work during these times.”
Operations Manager, Partner
“I would like to express my thanks to all Appello for your continued support during these uncertain times.”
“I just want to send my thanks and appreciation for all the support Neil provides on the digital telecare over the phone. He managed to help a resident and myself today at Pearce Smith Court, preventing an engineer visit, that was a difficult one! What Neil doesn’t know about the digital units, is clearly very limited.”
“I am really impressed with how fast you’ve moved as a company to help support our customers, a massive well done to all the team.”
Senior Exec, Leading Housing Provider
Your appreciation is gratefully received and very much appreciated. If you would like to share your experiences please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We will continue to provide updates when appropriate.
27th March 2020
A week of commitment, dedication and learnings
It’s been a challenging week for everyone in the UK, but one in which we have learnt that at Appello there is no lack of commitment and desire to maintain our important services for our customers.
Like many businesses we have been implementing new processes and ways of working to maintain operations. We are determined to gain new skills from this experience and one of the initial learnings has been how teams across the business have embraced video technology.
Whilst many of our monitoring teams are continuing to operate from our monitoring centres, other teams are working from home where appropriate. Physical meetings have been replaced by video conference calls and teams are continuing to work effectively.
We have long been advocates for the benefits of video, having implemented video calling into our Smart Living Solutions, now are own teams are reaping these benefits daily.
Our monitoring teams have shown tremendous dedication. Our keyworkers have been going above and beyond to maintain service levels for our customers. We know this has been appreciated from the messages we have received. Just one example received today was from a Mr Bland who called to express his thanks to all Appello for our continued support during these uncertain times.
To support our monitoring teams and recognise their efforts we have been running some fun initiatives from pizza evenings to providing early Easter eggs and goodies. This is a team effort, and our Senior Management Team have been a very busy as you would imagine, but they have also been supporting across every area of the business. From our CEO delivering boot fulls of laptops to operators, too our CFO taking the responsibility of breaking and recycling all packaging from hundreds of newly purchased laptops. This is definitely a team effort.
Lastly, we have already seen customers of Smart Living Solutions grateful for the benefits of digital telecare. There are many obvious benefits of digital telecare in these times, one less touched on is how digital telecare enables remote maintainenece. Where in an analogue world, a site visit would have been required, we are now able to undertake fault resolution remotely, enabling us to maintain social distancing. A grateful manager from Cardiff Council sent us this note yesterday.
“I am just updating you on the Appello system, after receiving a call from your Digital Support Officer, Neil, who I can’t thank enough for his support. He looked into the issue of the communication fault and the problem has been solved remotely”.
We will continue to provide updates when appropriate.
25th March 2020
As the UK Government imposes stricter ‘stay at home’ measures to tackle the outbreak of Coronavirus, we have been working hard to ensure we continue to deliver services for our customers.
This is a challenging environment for all organisations but Appello have been planning for these measures from Government in recent weeks.
As we revealed in our previous communication, we have been lobbying, with industry regulatory body the TSA to ensure our employees are classed as ‘Keyworkers’ for the invaluable service they deliver to the vulnerable in our communities. The government recognised this status due to the millions of people who rely on telecare services in the UK.
As a result, our employees will continue to work as normal following measures, guidance and changes to procedures we have put in place. These ensure a safe environment for both employees and our customers.
Our unique position of operating three monitoring centres, in Hampshire, Dorset and Wiltshire is enabling us to maintain our services and we can implement social distancing between operators in these locations.
Appello have acted swiftly to ensure that every employee is equipped with a laptop. A team effort has ensured that even those self-isolating received their laptop and are equipped to continue to support our customers.
Whilst we continue to operate largely from our monitoring centres, we are gradually implementing operators to work from home under strict guidance. This further provides a level of robustness to our operations and can be escalated further if required.
During these challenging times we will strive to deliver the level of service our customers expect, and we are committed to ensuring the wellbeing of customers, residents and our employees.
We will continue to provide updates when appropriate.
23rd March 2020
Our response to Coronavirus: Updated Monday 23rd March
Over recent weeks we have all seen huge changes in life, work and society. We will continue to reiterate that maintaining our service levels for our customers is a priority, along with the wellbeing of our employees and customers.
Our employees have been going above and beyond, showing exceptional commitment to provide our services for the most vulnerable in our communities.
As a business we have been adapting our processes and procedures where required. We have been acting at exceptional speed and investing where necessary. In just days we have made huge efforts to meet exceptional circumstances.
We are proud of the efforts Appello and our employees are making as a business. Working together is critical and we will continue to provide updates when appropriate.
20th March 2020
Our response to Coronavirus: Updated Friday 20th March
At Appello, we are continuing to actively monitor the rapidly evolving Coronavirus situation.
The delivery of our services is essential, this is understood now more than ever. As social distancing becomes more prevalent, we recognise that more of our vulnerable customers will rely on the services we provide.
We want to ensure our customers that during these challenging times we will strive to deliver the level of service you would expect, and we are also committed to ensuring the wellbeing of customers, residents and our employees. We have already made a series of adjustments to our business to ensure that we are prepared. We are keeping our ways of working under review. We will keep you informed.
Finding out more information
Working together and communicating will be instrumental moving forward. To support this, we are creating a dedicated web page that will be available early next week. This will include:
Additionally, please follow our LinkedIn page for the latest information.
Please look after yourself in your homes and at work and know that we will continue to support our customers wherever possible.
11th March 2020
Statement: Appello’s Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Appello is closely monitoring the evolution of the Coronavirus situation and following The Department of Health & Social Care (DHSC) and Public Health England (PHE) advice for UK businesses.
As a member of the TECS regulatory body, the Telecare Service Association (TSA) we have completed the Quality Standards Framework (QSF) which requires monitoring centres and telecare suppliers to have a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) in place. In addition, we have developed our own plans for Pandemic Business Continuity (PBC), which encompasses this COVID-19 outbreak. These plans are being regularly reviewed.
Appello is constantly evaluating the situation and monitoring any potential impact on effects to service delivery. It’s our intention to use these contingency plans to provide our customers with the best service possible during the outbreak. We have set up a working group to monitor developments and advise the business accordingly.
As a responsible employer we are also issuing regular updates and guidance to all employees who are being encouraged to maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene.
Appello will provide updates as the situation evolves.
Tim Barclay, CEO, Appello
If you become aware of a service user with confirmed case of Coronavirus, please update the individuals record through AppelloSBR or if you don’t have access to AppelloSBR, inform the Appello monitoring team via email@example.com so that we can update our records.
It is the guidance of regional emergency services that this important information is passed to the Emergency Service if we need to direct them to the property.
Currently, you do not need to make Appello aware if a resident is showing symptoms of the virus or has chosen to self-isolate.
Appello will manage calls where Coronavirus has been confirmed in the same manner, following our agreed procedures. We will relay information relating to a diagnosis of Coronavirus to the emergency services as we would with other medical conditions.
Where the individual is showing symptoms of the virus, we will also provide this information to the Emergency Services.
Emergency Services regionally may manage these situations differently and we advise you to look at information published regionally. We will follow the guidance of the Emergency Services and relay this information to the individual caller.
We are aware that the emergency services are currently receiving a higher number of referrals and enquiries. This can impact both upon their telephone response times and the time it takes to arrive at your address. However, by individuals activating their alarm through to Appello, they can be assured that not only will we swiftly call 999, but we will pass all access information at the same time, to reduce delays in accessing a property when the emergency services arrive.
Whilst the call and attendance response times for Emergency Services are outside of our control, we also want to reassure you that we will periodically check on their ETA until we have confirmation that they have arrived. The safety and wellbeing of our customers is of paramount importance.
Due to the current environment Appello are committed to maintaining our existing levels of service. We have contingencies in places to enable this and have Business Continuity Plans (BCP) that we can call upon, which will support us in managing significant increases in call volumes and/or the impact of our own staff sickness.
We are currently not having to implement these plans, however, appreciate that we are in a very fast changing environment.
To ensure we are best placed to maintain current services levels we are unable to change our procedures to accommodate additional questions for triaging, we will continue to follow agreed procedures which may mean asking the service user to call 111 or for Appello to call 999 on their behalf in an emergency.
Appello are committed to maintaining our existing levels of service in this current environment. To support us in enabling this, Appello will not be able to handle requests for adhoc cover call traffic or additional calls outside of our agreed contract.
Appello will make contractors aware of residents and developments with confirmed cases of Coronavirus if we have been informed of these via firstname.lastname@example.org.
To support us in maintaining our service levels Appello are unable to put in place additional questioning to residents. As cases are increasing quickly, we recommend that contractors call ahead and ensure that it is appropriate to visit the individual or development.
Appello are putting safeguarding measures in place for employees who may visit customers and to minimise impact on potentially ‘at-risk’ individuals. We are continuously reviewing these procedures and following guidelines from health authorities.
As a result, this may mean a visit to a service user is postponed, for example to install a personal alarm. In these cases, the service users key contacts or referring agency will be advised so that local measures can be put in place.