The importance of co-production in planning for a more digital future

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The importance of co-production in planning for a more digital future

Aug 31, 2023

In 2022, Beyond Housing launched its new independent living service, Reach & Respond, which forms an integral part of its strategy as we move into a digital communications era.

Read more in this case study 

Hear how they are navigating the digital journey with support from Tunstall. 

The roadmap to a digital future

With 93% of Beyond Housing customers having internet access in their home, there are clear opportunities to enhance services such as Reach & Respond, making them more personalised and preventative. A digital transition plan is currently being developed to ensure Reach & Respond is ready to upgrade its existing analogue technology well before the proposed digital completion date of the end of 2025. The upgrading of the existing technology base will also enable its customers to benefit from the latest developments, and Reach & Respond is working closely with its customers and their families to ensure that they can gain the maximum benefit from this.

Reach & Respond is integral to Beyond Housing’s strategy for the future, and the decisions we make now will have a significant impact on how we deliver future technology gains and customise what we do to meet individuals’ needs, enabling them to maintain their tenancies with us for longer.

Steve Rawson, Chief Operations Officer, Beyond Housing

Adapting to change

Openreach has taken the decision that by December 2025 they will no longer use PSTN and ISDN copper networks to supply telephony in this country. That’s had a huge impact for independent living services like Reach & Respond. Changes to the infrastructure of all schemes and dwellings that rely on their service will be required, so developing a roadmap for the digital transition is vital.

Switching to a digital infrastructure will mean customer calls will be handled more quickly, and speech should be much clearer. No longer relying on a 60 year old copper rich telecoms system means the network will be more resilient. Digital also provides the opportunity to make services more preventative, with intelligent insight and proactive calling.  

Becoming a digital Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) 

The first part of the digital transition will be the upgrade of Reach & Respond's ARC at Ennis Square, to a digitally-enabled Software as a Service (SaaS) platform

Moving to a SaaS platform avoids the time and costs associated with sourcing, maintaining and managing hardware infrastructure, provides robust business continuity and the assurance of always operating on the latest version of software.

It also removes restrictions on operator location, enabling the service to become more agile if needed, and workflow guidance enables quicker response times and therefore increased capacity and an improved service user experience.

Digital Transition Consultancy

The transition to digital presents both opportunities and challenges to health, housing, and social care providers. Digital technology has the potential to transform service delivery, making it more person-centred, preventative, and efficient, enabling data and information to be collected, analysed and interpreted, improving services for citizens.

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Beyond technology

The UK’s transition to a digital communications network continues to gather pace. Robin Hepples, Digital & Technology Coordinator at Beyond Housing’s Reach & Respond independent living service tells us how they are working with Tunstall to ensure a smooth transition for their service and its customers.

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