Mick Hatton, Regional Contracts Manager tells us about his role at Tunstall and a recent project with Torus, North West’s largest affordable housing provider.
As Contracts Manager my main role is starting and completing projects in a safe and timely manner. I oversee installations of group living equipment in the North West of the UK; I cover a vast area from Nottinghamshire to Lancashire, including Northern Ireland. This mainly involves our Communicall platforms, but also any telecare that’s required and integrated systems such as fire protection and access control. We look at schemes as a whole, and offer an integrated solution which means our customers can liaise with a single supplier for all of their care technology solutions and we can design intelligent systems that work together.
Something old, something new
We cover various types of installations, from new builds to restorations, and upgrades, and we deal with all sorts of end clients’ requirements. The systems that we fit are adaptable, so there’s no such thing as a typical Tunstall installation. Whether that’s in terms of the combination of social alarm, fire alarm, cable installations, and access controls etc or the particular configuration of the system to meet the needs of the site, provider and service users.
Tunstall clients are also very varied. We work with local authorities, construction companies and social housing providers . I also manage various specialist contractors working on our behalf as part of the installation team. The process is seamless from the customer’s point of view, and we only work with trusted organisations who deliver to the highest standards and uphold the Tunstall values.
Change for good
We’ve recently completed the refurbishment of a development with Torus and its contractor HMS which adapted an existing property into specialist accommodation with eight assisted living apartments for adults with learning disabilities and autism called Heathside.
The project was handed to me in September 2022, so I made contact with HMS and we held a pre start meeting where we discussed all elements of the installation. We agreed what outcomes needed to be achieved for residents, and particular details relating to where equipment should be sited. We also looked at the health and safety aspects of the site, making sure it was safe and that the engineers that attending were fully aware of all the rules. We then supplied a risk and method statement document to back up this agreement, and engaged with the installation team to ensure they were fully briefed on the client’s expectations before starting on site.
Albeit a small project in terms of scale, Heathside was quite a complicated installation due to the varying and particular needs of the end users. We worked closely with all stakeholders early in the project to make sure what we were supplying would meet the complex needs of residents. Everyone involved in the project contributed to think tanks where we discussed how the systems would work together and between us come up with innovative solutions that would ensure that the systems that were fitted were absolutely right.
At Heathside we’ve installed our Communicall Vi system, with combined door entry and access controls in place extensively around the building. We’ve also installed a telecare overlay system which allows the system to be programmed with wireless telecare devices which can be tailored according to the needs of the end user and changed over time if needed.
Once a project is completed, we compile the operation and maintenance documentation, and hand this over to the client. We then complete training with the care staff, with our training team attending site and familiarise them with the specific systems that have been installed. Once training is complete, we then handover to our service and maintenance department to ensure we offer ongoing support.
Heathside has been a fantastic project to work on. We’re always aware of how important our technology is in helping people to live well, but I am particularly proud of the way we’ve worked together to combine technology in new ways to create a home that will enhance the lives of many people for years to come.
Collaborating to enable a least restrictive approach
Alexander Court is an existing purpose-built property with independent living and sheltered housing elements, plus a care home which had become unoccupied. Hear how we worked with Torus, St Helens Council and NHS England to plan a major remodelling to transform the care home into Heathside, specialist accommodation with eight assisted living apartments for adults with learning disabilities and autism.