Gloucestershire Telecare supports vulnerable residents in the county by providing discreet sensors that detect emergencies at home such as falls, fire and wandering. Many of the people using the service have either recently been discharged from hospital, or face risks while carrying out day-to-day activities. The equipment is normally provided following a face to face assessment, usually in the service user’s own home.
The need to minimise hospital admissions is greater than ever during the pandemic, and has meant the service has had to rapidly adopt a different way of working to ensure that equipment is available quickly. Protecting residents who may be shielding, and safeguarding staff from unnecessary contact added to the need to change the way the service operates.
The solution is the new ‘Doorstep Delivery’ service. Telecare Engineers leave self-install equipment on the doorstep along with easy to use guidelines. The team combine this with comprehensive phone support, including a pre-delivery explanation of the equipment, and a number to call should the service user encounter any problems.
Holly Gittings, Gloucestershire Equipment and Technology Service Manager said: “We wanted to ensure that we were able to meet demand in case we saw an increase in hospital discharges, and we also knew that adapting our service to allow us to deliver equipment without contact was vital. The challenge was enabling our existing telecare equipment to be installed quickly and safely by someone with no technical experience, so we have worked hard to create a very simple set of instructions. The engineer arrives at the property, knocks on the door and places the equipment and ‘how-to’ guidance at the door. The engineer then waits outside to ensure the customer has collected the equipment. A helpline manned by one of our Engineers has been set up so that we can provide telephone support to the customer should it be required. The equipment we are currently installing through the Doorstep Delivery service includes a falls monitor, which automatically raises an alarm should the wearer have a sudden fall. We are very proud of this new service and we will be looking at how this can be expanded to support more people over the coming weeks and months. Gloucestershire Telecare is working hard to continue to provide a vital service and help to keep vulnerable people safe and independent at home.”