Technology in the care industry during Covid

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Every sector has experienced a difficult 2020 as a result of Covid-19. One of the most immediate issues has been how people who need to be physically remote from each other can communicate. For many, software such as Zoom and What’s App used on a computer or phone is little more than an extension of how they increasingly interact and so have not been too traumatic. In some cases, though, these are more than just a meeting with colleagues or clients: they need to replace personal assessments of a client’s condition and may also require the participation of people wholly unused to the technology. Both of these situations apply in the care industry. Previously normal ways of working have had to be adapted very quickly to provide not only the necessary level of information and compliance but also the maximum protection for both customers and care teams. One local care provider, Bluebird Care, explains how it how it has reacted to these challenges.

Many adaptations to Bluebird Care’s practices have proved efficient, safe and more convenient. The use of technology has allowed Care Supervisors to perform online assessments of customers’ needs using the latest video technology via video calls.

Deanna O’Shea is the Live-in Care Supervisor at Bluebird Care West Berkshire and now uses What’s App to help assess a new customer’s needs. “We have recently completed a Whats App assessment for our live-in care service with a couple who were shielding due to an upcoming operation,” Deanna explains. “They were concerned about inviting visitors into their home so we arranged with their daughter for a call to be set up with them so we could communicate over video.

“The couple were both very happy to video call from their living room. We talked through Bluebird Care’s services and I completed a normal assessment. They used the video call to show me around their home so I could see where the Live-in Care Assistant would be staying and the layout of the house. We were also able to use this to complete an environmental assessment, where the couple showed me their rooms inside and their outdoor area. They were both very happy with how the call went and are keen to progress with Bluebird Care after being impressed by all the communications they have had so far.”

Live-in Care Manager Sammie Carr also completed a customer assessment over Whats App. “I have assessed a customer who was shielding under Government guidelines throughout the Covid-19 pandemic,” Sammie explained. “She required an urgent Live-in Care package, but due to restrictions I was unable to compete the assessment in person. We used a Whats App video call to contact her and her husband, who at the time was her main carer. I was able to complete the majority of the care plan via video call. As the customer also wanted her family involved in her care plan, we also arranged a group video call.

“I had a very productive call with the customer’s husband and daughter. The husband showed me around the property to complete the environmental assessment via video call to ensure there was a safe working environment and I was able to also assess the Live-in Care Assistant’s accommodation.”

“It is so great that we have been able to use technology to help protect new customers and make the process of assessment for new customers more efficient,” Jady Starr at Bluebird Care West Berkshire added. “We will continue to use this, particularly with the on-going Covid-19 pandemic. The safety of our customers and their peace of mind is at the heart of everything we do. We will continue to implement technology into our care-giving, ensuring we are constantly evolving and innovating in a way that benefits our customers and team of dedicated Care Assistants.”

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Covering: Hungerford, Marlborough, Wantage,   Lambourn, Newbury, Thatcham & Theale