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TEC Trailblazer Programme

Communicare247 joins TEC Quality Trailblazer Supplier Programme

By News

Communicare247 (C247) is delighted to join TEC Quality’s Trailblazer Supplier Programme, a new program designed to support organisations currently completing the TSA’s Quality Standards Framework (QSF) to become an approved supplier of Technology Enabled Care (TEC).

TEC Trailblazer Programme

Going through this extensive audit process to achieve the QSF will see Communicare247 complete 10 core modules and 4 service delivery modules, showcasing evidence of how a range of standards are delivered within C247’s TEC service. This includes showcasing how C247 manages user and carer experience, service safety, information governance and business continuity, as well as service delivery covering TEC monitoring, telehealth monitoring and response services. 

Joining this new programme will allow C247 to expand its existing set of quality standards, which include ISO9001, ISO27001, BS5979, BS7858 and Cyber Essentials Plus to name a few. Built on collaboration, The Trailblazer Supplier Programme enables C247 to engage with other partners in the industry to learn, share lessons, collaborate and strive for shared excellence in the sector to deliver quality products and services for 1.5 million telecare users in the UK. 

Speaking of joining the programme, Communicare247 CEO Tom Morton said: 

“At Communicare247, we continually invest in the quality of our people, systems and processes and comply with the latest industry standards to ensure our customers have complete confidence in the quality of our service. We pride ourselves on our ability to deliver continuous improvement and collaboration, something the Trailblazer Programme helps to facilitate.” 

Helen Rudkin, Quality Manager at TEC Quality said: 

“TEC Quality’s Trailblazer Programme represents an evolution in the progression of the TEC sector, and I am delighted to have on board some of the industry’s most progressive supplier organisations to help drive innovation and standards based on the principles of quality, safety and continuous improvement to better the lives of people within their communities.”

To find out more about the TEC Quality Trailblazer Supplier Programme, click here. 

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About Communicare247

Communicare247 is a health and social care service provider which delivers connected care solutions. Using secure digital technology and monitoring services, we enable citizens to remain safe and independent in their own homes for longer. Cloud services and effective technology provide valuable reassurance for individuals receiving care and permits sharing of information with families and care providers. The service helps to support service commissioners in balancing their duty of care with practical efficiencies capable of meeting modern day audit and resource challenges.

Man and woman hug outdoors

How assistive technology can help to improve dementia care

By News

Retired couple looking at each otherDementia poses one of the biggest challenges we face as a society. Worldwide, around 50 million people have dementia and in the UK, More than 920,000 are living with dementia, a number expected to rise to over one million by 2024 (Alzheimer’s Society, 2019). 

With an ageing population, people are more likely to be affected by dementia. Currently, 1 in 14 people over the age of 65 live with dementia, narrowing to 1 in 6 people over the age of 80. As the number of people living with dementia rises, the amount of support and care also increases, creating challenges for health and social care providers, families and unpaid carers. 

To alleviate some challenges associated with dementia care, and to provide more support to individuals caring for others with dementia, assistive technologies can be introduced. Through this introduction, people with dementia can also benefit with an avenue to live more independently and safely for longer in their own homes and communities. 

What is assistive technology?

Assistive technology refers to different types of devices, systems or applications that help to maintain or improve a person’s ability to do things in their daily lives. 

Assistive technology could include:

  • Smartphone or tablet applications
  • Portable GPS enabled devices
  • Wearable technology such as a watch or wristband 
  • Environment and activity monitoring sensors
  • Voice assistant technology 
  • Automated devices, such as ovens, showers, and window controls

Assistive technology can help with things such as: 

  • Memory problems
  • Problems with carrying out tasks 
  • Communication, including speech and hearing
  • Mobility
  • Keeping safe inside and outside of the home
  • Maintaining independence and self confidence
  • Socialising and doing things you enjoy 
Senior lady wearing assistive technology wristband

How can assistive technology help people with dementia?

Assistive technologies come in all shapes and sizes, from stand alone mobile devices to fully integrated care systems built into the home. Depending on the technology you introduce, people with dementia can take the steps towards maintaining their independence, keeping safe and staying active in their own homes and communities.

older lady using a kettle

Everyday Living

Assistive technology enables people with dementia to live more independently with different technologies available to assist with their daily needs. This can include environmental tools such as climate control, temperature sensors, humidity monitoring, light activation and curtain and window controls. Assistive technologies can also include automated ovens, dishwashers, washing machines, electric showers, automated taps and toilets, making life more accessible and comfortable for people with dementia. 

Assistive technology can also be introduced to help people with dementia to manage and monitor their own health and wellbeing on a daily basis. Smart watches, wristbands and other tools can monitor vital signs such as blood pressure, heart rate and general activity levels, raising alerts when daily health levels dip. These devices can also be fitted with fall detectors and voice prompts and reminders, improving a person’s daily safety and medication management. 

 

Personal Safety

Woman holding the Freedom DeviceAssistive technology can support people with dementia to live with more safety and security, whether they live at home, in supported accommodation or in a care home setting. By introducing a personal safety device fitted with an SOS button and fall detection, people with dementia and their care circle can feel reassured of their safety whilst they are at home or in their community, with automatic alerts when an SOS is raised. 

Assistive technology such as ambient activity sensors placed in living spaces such as bedrooms, bathrooms and kitchens can also alert carers and family when a loved one with dementia is active in their home. These sensors placed around the home can also report on inactivity, raising a rule based alert when no activity is registered after a certain period of time. 

In a person’s home, safeguarding technology such as flood, smoke, fire and carbon monoxide sensors can also be introduced to help improve personal safety by automatically summoning help in an emergency situation.

 

Older woman walking alone in remote areaMonitoring

By introducing assistive technology, family members and carers can better monitor their loved ones with dementia who may be out walking and active in their community. Providing a loved one with a GPS enabled device or app with automatic fall detection and an SOS button enables people to go walks safely, whilst their location can be monitored in the event of an emergency. 

For people with dementia who are prone to wandering and disorientation, this same GPS device can be used to trigger an alert when a geofence is breached or entered. A geofence is a predetermined area that is outlined by a family member or carer that may be of danger if a loved one enters or exits this area. Geofences are commonly placed around areas of water or dangerous roads, or can be placed around a person’s home, community or care home. 

To help people who commonly wander and have disorientation, door contact sensors can also be fitted to alert family members and carers when a loved one has left their home at a specific time, such as during the night. These same sensors can detect when doors have been left open, raising relevant alerts to assure loved ones are safe. 

 

Older woman using assistive technologyCommunication

Assistive technology can help people with dementia to communicate more effectively with loved ones, their carers and other health professionals. With the use of different video conferencing technologies, people with dementia can talk to loved ones, contact their carer for extra support and have video consultations with relevant health professionals. Similarly, mobile apps with built-in support functions can help people with dementia to contact friends and support to request for assistance, request emergency help or to generally chat. 

By introducing assistive technology such as an Amazon Echo Show, people with dementia can stay entertained at home whilst staying connected to friends and family, reducing social isolation, a prevalent issue for people living with dementia. Devices like the Echo Show can also help people to receive prompts, food and medication reminders and comfort messages throughout the day, enabling people to stay independent and on top of their own daily routines. 

How to obtain assistive technology

If you are living with dementia or supporting someone with the condition, you can obtain assistive technology to help support care and everyday living. There are a number of ways that you can obtain assistive technology, this can include: 

  • Contacting your local authority for a needs based assessment
  • Contacting your housing provider who may supply technology in supported, sheltered or extra care housing 
  • Buying it yourself 

At Communicare247, we offer a range of assistive technologies to support people living with dementia. Our range of connected devices are designed to support people to live safer, independent lives at home and in their communities and consist of a variety of mobile devices and at home sensor technologies. 

To find out more about how Communicare247 can help you get started with assistive technology, click the links below to explore our range of products and services.

The Freedom Range

The Freedom Range provides mobile devices and apps to use at home and in your community. Featuring an SOS button, fall detection, GPS monitoring and mood indicators, the Freedom Range helps you live independently and safely, reducing social isolation.

See More

The Liberty Range

The Liberty Range features a range of sensors located around the home, including room activity monitors, smoke and CO detectors, door monitors and voice assistant technology such as Alexa to help care circles stay informed of their family members health and to help spot signs of deteriorating health early.

See More

The Live Well Range

The Live Well Range features tele-health monitoring devices to monitor vital signs such as blood pressure and heart rate to better manage health at home. This technology helps care circles to stay informed and helps to spot signs of changing health conditions.

See More

You can find out more about how Communicare247 can help to manage health, wellbeing and safety by visiting our How We Help page. Professionals can also visit our dedicated For Professionals page. 

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About Communicare247

Communicare247 is a health and social care service provider which delivers connected care solutions. Using secure digital technology and monitoring services, we enable citizens to remain safe and independent in their own homes for longer. Cloud services and effective technology provide valuable reassurance for individuals receiving care and permits sharing of information with families and care providers. The service helps to support service commissioners in balancing their duty of care with practical efficiencies capable of meeting modern day audit and resource challenges.

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Communicare247 shortlisted for Health & Care Industry Collaboration Award

By News

Communicare247 is delighted to announce that we have been shortlisted for the Industry Collaboration Award at this year’s Holyrood Connect’s Digital Health and Care Awards 2021.

The awards ceremony will bring together health and care organisations, collaborators andstakeholders, to celebrate success and highlight the best examples of digital innovation within Scotland’s health and social care sector. 

Communicare247 has been shortlisted for the Industry Collaboration Award, which highlights the innovative partnerships between the public and private sector and celebrates successful digital transformation projects which work to deliver positive outcomes for citizens. 

With ongoing collaboration with Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership as part of the Can Do Project, where Communicare247 won funding of over £130k, and other partners across health and social care, Communicare247 has been recognised for our work for developing Project Liberty. 

Project Liberty is a pioneering assisted living telecare system that incorporates consumer devices such as voice activated speakers, smart phones and other smart wearables, sensors and location technologies within a digital monitoring and response platform. Project Liberty has been developed as an ideal solution to allow some of the most vulnerable people across the UK to live independently at home, whilst providing a robust, cost-effective and insightful telecare solution for care providers that can help assess and predict the care needs of citizens. 

Speaking of the announcement, Chief Executive Tom Morton, said: 

“I am absolutely delighted that Communicare247 is being recognised for its ongoing collaboration with service end-users and key partners across the industry.

“Project Liberty has made it clear that partnerships and ongoing collaboration with stakeholders is vital to achieve industry growth, for wider scale transformation, and to encourage innovation in health and social care services, especially in a time where connected systems, remote monitoring, and access to data is more important than ever.”

This year’s Digital Health and Care Awards will take place virtually on February 26th and will celebrate achievements over six award categories. Full details of the awards can be found here. 

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About Communicare247

Communicare247 is a health and social care service provider which delivers connected care solutions. Using secure digital technology and monitoring services, we enable citizens to remain safe and independent in their own homes for longer. Cloud services and effective technology provide valuable reassurance for individuals receiving care and permits sharing of information with families and care providers. The service helps to support service commissioners in balancing their duty of care with practical efficiencies capable of meeting modern day audit and resource challenges.

Communicare247’s pioneering digital telecare project wins funding for next phase

By News

Assistive care technology specialist Communicare247 is on track to deliver a first-of-its-kind digital home care system in Glasgow. 

Communicare247 has won funding worth over £130,000 to support the next phase of development of Project Liberty, a new system which will enable the UK’s most vulnerable people to live independently in their own homes and communities for longer.

The pioneering digital telecare system incorporates consumer devices such as voice-activated speakers, smart phones and other smart wearables, sensors and location technologies through a novel monitoring system that can integrate with existing telecare home care alarms. 

The project will connect with Scotland’s world-leading long range wide area network (LoRaWAN), which enables devices to collect and send data without the need for 3G, 4G or Wi-Fi. The IoT Scotland wireless sensor network is designed to support full use of internet of things (IoT) devices, including sensor applications deployed in Communicare247’s Liberty home care system.

The Liberty project is expected to be complete in the third quarter of 2021 and will provide a scalable digital telecare system that could be deployed by local authorities, housing associations and care providers across the UK.

The support for Project Liberty comes via the £9.2million Can Do Innovation Challenge Fund which announced funding for a number of public sector-led innovation schemes in Scotland. Project Liberty is part of Glasgow City Council’s “Technology enabled Glasgow” challenge, uniting project leader Communicare247 with partners and stakeholders including the Glasgow Health and Social Care Partnership and the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland (the Alliance).

The funding will be used to support the second phase of development which will deploy and test the system with citizens living independently with a variety of complex care needs, including Alzheimer’s disease. The first phase commenced in January 2019.

Tom Morton, Chief Executive of Communicare247, said: “Project Liberty will design and deliver the ideal solution to allow some of the most vulnerable people in Scotland to live independently within their own home with reduced reliance on publicly-funded care interventions. 

“A telecare system that uses Alexa and smart watches is a game changer. We are integrating common and easy to use consumer products along with IoT sensors and innovative telehealth monitoring in an existing data-led system that reports to carers, family members and emergency services as required.

“Currently, across the UK, there is an estimated 4milllion elderly and shielding people who rely on analogue telecare systems to help keep them safe. Most of these systems are at risk of becoming obsolete due to the telephone network switch from analogue to digital. This gives the UK an unprecedented opportunity to adopt a leading digital-enabled assisted living care which will be delivered through Project Liberty.

“Together the partners behind Project Liberty are leading the way in developing integrated solutions to worldwide challenges in ageing populations and I’d like to thank them for their support and vision.”

Michael Gillespie, Principal Officer, Glasgow HSCP said: “Communicare247 were selected by Glasgow HSCP/ City Council from a competitive field of over 40 SMEs in Phase 1 of the Scottish Enterprise-sponsored Can Do challenge. Their proposed integrated digital solutions will help us meet the challenge of transitioning telecare services from analogue to digital. This carries the potential to empower users to self-manage and maintain independence at home using familiar technologies.

“To date our private/public sector partnership work with them has been productive. Subsequently we have selected Communicare247 to develop further their product in Phase 2 of the Challenge as their innovative solution is highly valued. 

“The supply of telecare is a relatively narrow marketplace characterised by relatively one-dimensional options. Communicare247’s forward thinking approach provides the potential for using a wider range of peripherals within a stable and effective platform which we hope will facilitate delivery of more user-friendly technology-enabled care services.”

Click here to find out more about Project Liberty. 

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About Communicare247

Communicare247 is a health and social care service provider which delivers connected care solutions. Using secure digital technology and monitoring services, we enable citizens to remain safe and independent in their own homes for longer. Cloud services and effective technology provide valuable reassurance for individuals receiving care and permits sharing of information with families and care providers. The service helps to support service commissioners in balancing their duty of care with practical efficiencies capable of meeting modern day audit and resource challenges.

Communicare247 hails “gamechanger” report on the future of social care in Scotland

By News
Tom Morton, Chief Executive of assisted living technology specialist Communicare247, welcomed the publication of the National Briefing Document by Digital Telecare for Scottish Local Government highlighting the urgent need to upgrade telecare systems supporting over 180,000 elderly and vulnerable citizens in Scotland.

He said: “This report is a game changer. It nails on the head the issues facing telecare providers such as local authorities and housing associations and their vulnerable clients.

“We became aware that the telecare systems used across Scotland risked becoming obsolete as soon as the decision was taken to switch the national telephony network from analogue to digital in 2016. This process has now been speeded up and will be complete by 2023. The warning is stark that without intervention, call failures will continue to rise because analogue equipment can’t operate safely or reliably over digital telephone lines.

“Now is certainly the time for the publication of this document, which provides an essential routemap towards ensuring telecare is both safe and robust for the increasing number of people who rely on it.

“The report highlights that there will be a need for investment, but it also confirms that care providers now have an unprecedented opportunity to deploy a transformational transition to digitally-enabled assisted living. This includes a range of voice and sensor-enabled devices that could never be used in analogue systems. Other benefits include quality and reliability, more choices and improved experience for citizens with services tailored to their needs, the power of data-driven services and overall resilience for both the user, care providers and alarm receiving centres (ARCs). 

“Scotland is a leader in developing integrated solutions to worldwide challenges in ageing populations. The future of social care is reliant on telecare systems that offer both reduced costs but also improved outcomes and applications that mean people can live independently for longer in their own homes.

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About Communicare247

Communicare247 is a health and social care service provider which delivers connected care solutions. Using secure digital technology and monitoring services, we enable citizens to remain safe and independent in their own homes for longer. Cloud services and effective technology provide valuable reassurance for individuals receiving care and permits sharing of information with families and care providers. The service helps to support service commissioners in balancing their duty of care with practical efficiencies capable of meeting modern day audit and resource challenges.

assistive technology for health and social care

Communicare247 launch assistive technologies to meet tomorrow’s care needs today

By News

The model for delivering supported living is undergoing revolutionary change. New assistive technology is set to fundamentally transform how we live with age, disability and infirmity. The need for this support has been further accelerated under restrictions imposed in the Covid19 pandemic. Care providers in the UK also face a race against time as existing telecare services risk being made obsolete by the digitalisation of the telephone network. 

assistive technology for health and social care

To meet these challenges, Communicare247 has developed Liberty, an advanced care-at-home system that integrates digital assistive technology, telecare and Internet of Things (IoT) products including voice-enabled smart speakers. Currently in the final development stages with local authority and technology partners, Liberty is the vanguard of remote smart technology solutions that improve the physical and mental wellbeing of people with assisted living needs and helps keep them connected to carers and their community. 

Tom Morton, CEO of Communicare247, said:

 

“The COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing measures have quickly and significantly changed how carers can interact with people who need at-home assistance. The pandemic also exposed significant weakness in the current monitoring centres ability to support remote working, and people who were required to shield effectively doubled the existing service demand capacity pushing the provision of home care service and remote monitoring systems to its limits.

“Scotland is a leader in developing integrated solutions to worldwide challenges in ageing populations. Health and social care service providers are acutely aware of the need to adopt more flexible digital services in order to better manage our citizens’ health and wellbeing needs.”

Currently, across the UK, there is an estimated 4m+ elderly and shielding people who rely on analogue telecare systems to help keep them safe. This means care providers now have an unprecedented opportunity to adopt leading digital-enabled assisted living care.

Tom added: “The planned analogue to digital switchover, now brought forward to 2023, is creating significant pressures for care service providers who have even less time to effect the changes required to prevent rising analogue call failures.

“Communicare247, delivering a pedigree in providing digital systems to over 20,000 individuals since 1998, is at the forefront of this changing digital landscape and it is ready to help the industry today. We are proud to launch an exciting range of digital health and wellbeing services using innovative IoT and mobile technologies.

“This is not just about new gadgets or better buttons. Communicare247 solutions place better outcomes as the first design principle. Independence and empowerment lie at the heart of every solution we offer while also meeting the challenging productivity and efficiency needs of service commissioners and providers.”

Care providers such as local authorities, social care commissioners and private sector partners are invited to register their interest in Liberty which will be launched to commercial users Q1 2021.

Care users can also now choose from Communicare247’s Heritage Range, which offers digital versions of the familiar telecare alarm units designed to support independence at home. In addition, the Freedom Range uses innovative mobile phone and GPS systems that support reablement, social inclusion and freedom to roam in the wider community safely. 

All three ranges are supported by Archangel, Communicare247’s open API, cloud-based connected care platform. This connects any IoT or mobile device, providing holistic data views to carers and healthcare professionals. The data enables accurate assessment and can help to predict future care needs, which is key to people being able to remain independent and safe at home for longer.

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About Communicare247

Communicare247 is a health and social care service provider which delivers connected care solutions. Using secure digital technology and monitoring services, we enable citizens to remain safe and independent in their own homes for longer. Cloud services and effective technology provide valuable reassurance for individuals receiving care and permits sharing of information with families and care providers. The service helps to support service commissioners in balancing their duty of care with practical efficiencies capable of meeting modern day audit and resource challenges.

Alexa can help make strides in telecare

By News

ALEXA, remind me to take my medication today. Alexa, I have fallen and I can’t get up – can you call for help?

The NHS in England has launched a collaboration with Amazon’s virtual assistant in a sign of social care to come. The service to be provided is the most basic – ensuring that when people ask for health advice, the information Alexa offers is verified by the NHS rather than plucked from the random depths of the internet.

This partnership is a first, small step but shows the way to how digital health and telecare will transform social care in the future. A virtual assistant is just one technology that can enable people to live independently in their homes for longer and at a lower cost to the National Health Service – which is already showing signs of being at financial breaking point.

But before we get there, Scotland will have to radically overhaul the infrastructure that underpins the social care system.

Currently Scotland’s 32 local authorities offer a range of adult care services spanning telecare alert buttons to residential care homes. But problems in the system are mounting, not least due to the spiralling costs of meeting the care needs of the UK’s ageing population.

The creaking of the social care system is revealed in statistics like the rising number of people forced to extend their stay in hospital because the facilities that would enable them to return to a much less costly home environment are overburdened and increasingly unavailable.

The backbone of a service that truly connects Alexa – or any other virtual assistant, sensor or video conference facility – to a social care support service will rely on the telecare system undergoing a transformation from analogue to digital. However, cash strapped local authorities across the UK have yet to adopt the infrastructure that will enable these systems to interact with, but also protect, a user’s data. The time is now for investment planners and policy makers to ensure the telecare system is fit for the future.

The enabler of this integration is the alarm receiving centre (ARC) which acts as the brain of the system. It ensures the person calling for help or support gets the right response – whether it is a fall or, depending on use of sensor technology, a change in vital statistics.

The digital ARC is also equipped to deliver video conferencing which will be the cornerstone of remote diagnostics and GP support for many remote areas of the country. This technology will also support carers – both formal and informal – in supporting users with complex needs like dementia.

In Glasgow, our company Communicare247 is developing a system incorporating motion detection and a range of home-based environmental sensors that are connected by our ARC in Dunoon and its Archangel cloud portal via a smart phone app. The project, supported by Glasgow City Council (GCC) and Innovate UK, has been shown to enable ARC staff, carers and family members to monitor the user in a system designed to ensure peace of mind as well as improve safety and response times.

This pilot study is among the first in Scotland that moves telecare on from the old-fashioned “red button”, improving functionality, security and safety all at the same time.

Alexa, is this how we will live independently for longer?

Analogue to Digital FAQ

By News

We know that the analogue systems will cease in 2025 but could you confirm the exact date please?

No. There is no precise date published and the OfCom site only confirm “by 2025”. The 2025 date is an absolute date for completion, it is not a date upon which the analogue change-over is effected to digital. Each provider has its own dates and schedule – see the link above. In reality, the core BT network system (managed by Openreach) operates an IP Core – previously known as BT21CN – and a number of it’s exchanges are already upgraded, so technically, switching is well underway. BT has also confirmed that it will not take any further orders for analogue lines from 2021 and others are operating to earlier schedules.

We presume that there are a number of companies who will be carrying out the ‘switch over’ and wonder if they all work in the same way.

The above is also true for the majority of alternative network service providers (eg Virgin and Talk-Talk etc) who have already upgraded their infrastructure to full-fibre digital systems.

For example, can we expect that the analogue system carry on working right up until the digital system is fully installed?

Regrettably no. Analogue systems are in essence rendered obsolete and indeed, some vendors will cease supplying analogue equipment in 2020.  This is due to the signalling issued by the analogue device.  An analogue signal, transferred over an analogue network, received by an analogue receiver (within the alarm monitoring centre) is perfectly capable of performing normally. However, no network provider can guarantee a fully analogue signal path due to the mixed infrastructure which now exists. Consequently, there is a very real probability that the alarm signal is ‘corrupted’ en-route to the Alarm Centre. This manifests in the Alarm Receiver system not being able to interpret the signal in order to recognise it as an alarm call.  This incidence of “call failure” is increasing.  Some systems have automatic retry capabilities which means that the device will make further attempts to redial. Some suppliers are advocating use of “terminal adaptors” which will convert signals at the box in your home, this is NOT recommended because the signal path cannot be guaranteed, and both the Swedish Government and Scottish Government advice is to avoid this at all costs.

Will there be a guarantee (on both software and hardware) in place following installation?

Yes. All equipment is supplied fully guaranteed and with 24 hour and 365 day support. Our SLA is unsurpassed with a full 2 hour service resumption guarantee and 99.998% service availability.

Can you estimate how long would it take to do the ‘switch over’ in an apartment of, say, 40 apartments?

On the assumption that this is a standard telecare system, then the install time is approx 1 hour per property. We will also conduct group or individual training while in attendance.

Will running costs be more/less than the current analogue system?

We would need to understand the full requirements first.  However, digital service packages are comparable to current analogue market systems.

ASN pupils learn to travel independently

By News, Uncategorised

Sanderson High School, an additional support needs (ASN) school, recognised that their pupils could not perform certain tasks. This was because their pupils had anxiety and low confidence when tasked with travelling independently.

Aisling Boyle, Head Teacher at the East Kilbride school, wanted to address this and in 2017 partnered up with digital telecare provider Communicare247, who offered their Freedom devices as a solution.

Communicare247’s Freedom Range is a location-enabled telecare service which provides independence to individuals who need additional support within the community.

Watch the videos below to see the children's journey

The devices allowed the teachers to track the children’s location to make sure they were safe. They also feature an SOS button allowing the child to directly contact their teacher if they felt distressed via two-way communication.

As part of the “Wider Achievement Programme,” the pupils were slowly introduced to the use of public transport while wearing the Freedom Devices. The confidence the pupils have in the Freedom Devices allowed Sanderson to build their confidence while travelling up one bus stop at a time.

Mrs Boyle said: “The pupils have more acceptance and confidence in the community as they are using public buses as opposed to school buses. They are more independent and they are gaining a life skill.

Following the implementation of the Freedom devices. Sanderson has seen a 50% increase in the number of alumni who are now able to travel on public transport rather than private hire.

Freedom devices

Tom Morton, CEO of Communicare247, said: “Our Freedom range has been designed to promote independence within the community, and it’s great to see the positive effects which it is having on the pupils at Sanderson.

“It also highlights the versatility of mobile digital telecare and how it can be implemented within the education sector.”

Due to the success of this Wider Achievement Programme, Sanderson High School developed an SQA qualification called “Independent Travel”.

Mrs Boyle continued: “The parents are very happy that we are managing to do this and that it has become part of our curriculum.

For their work with Sanderson High School, Communicare247 has been shortlisted for the Empowering Children and Young People Award at the Holyrood Digital Health and Care Awards.

The award recognises organisations who are using digital to engage and support children and young people to improve their health and wellbeing, empowering them by improving access to self-support resources and services to make positive decisions about their health and wellbeing.

Scotland’s young carers enjoy a fun-filled weekend getaway

By Case Studies, News

A group of young carers enjoyed a carefree weekend filled with fun, activities and long lie-ins at a holiday park in Dunoon thanks to support from Communicare247.

Thirty young people who spend time caring for others came from all over Scotland to enjoy a getaway at Hunters Quay Holiday Village. Tom Morton, CEO of Communicare247 spearheaded an effort to ensure the kids enjoyed free accommodation and activities, ferry passage thanks to Western Ferries, as well as a Chinese takeaway.

Brendan O’Hara, MP for Argyll and Bute, and Audrey Forrest, Argyll and Bute councillor, spent time on site and engaged with some of the young carers.

Mr O’Hara, who brought chocolate for the children, said: “As young carers, these kids are truly inspiring and I am delighted that they are able to take this well-deserved break. To have caring responsibilities at such a young age is very tough and I just wanted to meet them to acknowledge what they do and to say a huge thank you to everyone who was involved in making this holiday happen for them.”

Tom Morton, CEO of Communicare247, said: “We were so delighted to help these very deserving young people have a break. “Communicare247 works with carers across the UK to provide technology that makes their lives easier, so it made sense that we worked with Carers Trust Scotland to deliver this special project.

“It was a real local effort – with Keith Campbell of Argyll Holidays offering preferential rates and Gordon Ross of Western Ferries donating free crossings and Mike Cheng who delivered some great food from River Jade. I’m honoured that these kids really enjoyed themselves playing badminton, swimming or just kicking back and relaxing with friends.”

A chance to get away and have some fun away from caring responsibilities is a rare thing for these young people. For some it was their first time away in years. Susie Fraser, Director for Hollicom and Ambassador for Young Carers Trust Scotland, said:

“We knew from the outset that this was going to work when one of the young carers arrived at the holiday park and, smelling the swimming pool, said ‘it smells like a holiday’.

“One young carer told me about how she has been bullied on social media because she cares for her dad. She said this weekend away has been the first time she has felt normal in years. It was a privilege to be involved with the young carers getaway in Dunoon.”

Louise Morgan, Director for Scotland and Northern Ireland, Carers Trust Scotland, said: “Our extensive survey work consistently shows that 1 in 10 children in a class has a caring role. Right across Scotland and the rest of Great Britain young people are having to care for family members with complex needs. These range from disability and terminal illness to mental health problems, alcoholism and substance misuse.

“This year young carers chose #CareForMeToo as the campaign name for Young Carers Awareness Day, which recognises that their mental wellbeing will suffer with too much expected of them without appropriate support. “Events like the young carers getaway in Dunoon offer these young people a much-needed break from their caring responsibilities as well as a sense that there are people and agencies willing to offer support and care for them.

“Carers Trust Scotland would like to say a big thanks to Tom and his team at Communicare247 for the opportunity he has provided these young people.”

The initiative is part of the Charity Support Campaign launched by Commmunicare247 and its sister company Safe Shores Monitoring to celebrate 20 years of business growth. The Glasgow-based company operates its state-of-the-art Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) in Dunoon on the scenic Cowal peninsula.

Safe Shores Monitoring and Communicare247 pledged to support Carers Trust Scotland along with five other charities that are aligned with their social values as businesses throughout the group’s two decades of operation.

The six partner charities that have been chosen to benefit from the Communicare247 and Safe Shores Monitoring Charity Support Programme are: Carers Trust, the UK’s largest charity for unpaid carers; Carr Gomm, which delivers high quality support services and campaigns to tackle loneliness and social isolation; Help for Heroes and Poppyscotland, which support serving and veteran armed forces personnel and their families; and SAMH and SANE, leading Scottish and UK charities that
support people and families affected by mental illness.

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