Keeping the lines of communication open

Anisa Ghafoor, Care Manager at Savile House care home tells us how their Tunstall Carecom™ system is benefitting staff, residents and families.

Keeping the lines of communication open

Sep 28, 2021

I manage Savile House, a 20 bed care home in Halifax registered to support 24 residents. Our previous nursecall system was very old, and it was becoming increasingly unreliable. Many replacement parts were obsolete, and it was complex and costly to repair. So, in 2020 we replaced it, choosing Carecom as best suited to our needs. Savile House is quite an old building, so it was easier for us to have a mainly wireless solution installed, with staff having mobile phones to manage alarms.

The previous system had a central wall mounted display which showed a four digit code for each room if a resident called for help, so staff needed to monitor the display and learn which rooms the codes related too. Alarms could only be cancelled by going to the resident’s room. With Carecom, staff get an alert on their mobile wherever they are in the building which shows not only the location of the alarm but also the nature of it, e.g. bed sensor or door sensor. We can also clear down alarms using the mobiles or a Carecom pendant, rather than having to always go to the source, where this is appropriate.

Because most of the residents at Savile House lacked the ability to use the bulky handset that was central to the old system to ask for help, we used pressure sensors to alert staff if they were about to leave their chair, bed or room so staff could assist and reduce the risk of falls. Previously the sensor mats were quite large and unwieldy, and too sensitive so gave a lot of false alarms. The wiring attached to them was very easy to damage or pull away, which was a regular event as all of our residents have some degree of dementia. The new bed and chair occupancy sensors are more discreet and resilient. They can’t really be seen by residents, and are more robust, so we are not getting anywhere near as many damaged, which obviously saves money and administration time.

There were a few teething problems initially, as there are with any new system, but Andy, our local Tunstall Engineer has always arrived promptly and been happy to help as we fine-tuned the system and adjusted to new ways of working.  

Carecom has really proved its worth recently, when we were completely without a landline for 5 days. Because the system is mobile based, we were still able to have a communications system, and carry on using it and give the same level of care to our residents. It also meant families were reassured that alarm calls could still be received despite the interruption to landlines in the area.

Aside from the recent landline issues, Carecom gives peace of mind to families considering Savile House or with family members already living here, knowing that staff will be alerted immediately to events such as falls and are supported to provide the fantastic level of care we pride ourselves on.

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