Bield Logs Into TEC In Housing

by Emma Lourie

Wednesday, February 12th, 2020

Technology-based housing solutions top priority to improve quality of life for older people

Care PR photo of Lynne Douglas and Geraldine Begg outside of Bield sign with TEC in Housing Charter Pledges Book

BIELD HAS pledged its commitment to the Technology Enabled Care (TEC) in Housing Charter as it looks to cement its focus on making innovation a key driver as part of it’s digital business transformation and its future direction.

TEC in Housing is a national programme, funded by the Scottish Government and hosted by the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, which provides a Framework to support the housing sector in delivering technology-based housing solutions.

Bield use technology to deliver a wide range of specialised housing and care services for around 20,000 older people across 23 local authority areas and is working towards becoming the first fully digitally connected housing association in Scotland.

Lynne Douglas, Chief Executive at Bield, said: “Bield is continuously adapting and changing in order to deliver the best possible housing and services to meet the needs of Scotland’s ageing population. By doing this, we are supporting tenants and allowing them to lead enriched, fulfilled lives.

“We recognise the important role technology plays in improving the quality of life among older people, which is why we have placed it as a top priority to work on going forward.

“The TEC in Housing Charter provides organisations in the housing sector with a network to share ideas, discuss challenges and gain knowledge from industry experts.”

“This system of support will help us to achieve our vision as a housing organisation, developing and installing modern infrastructure across all of our developments.”

The TEC programme has been working with a number of housing organisations and individuals to promote best practice and support the contribution that the housing sector is making to the use of technology in housing.

Access to training, conferences and opportunities to take part in product testing is also available to those signed up to the programme.

Bield work to incorporate technology infrastructure into their developments. In partnership with the Scottish Government, Bield is working to switch their telecare service from analogue to digital ahead of BT’s plans to switch off their analogue telephone network across the UK by 2025.

Around 10,000 Bield tenants now benefit from digital telecommunication technology which has resulted in a faster and more reliable connection when contacting Bield’s alarm receiving centre, BR24.

BR24 sees calls from developments transmitted via an internet connection rather than an analogue telephone line, which means those who need assistance are connected to the alarm receiving centre at a much quicker rate.

Bield have also promoted the use of technology on a social level, an increasingly essential skill for all age groups. Tenants have been encouraged to develop IT skills, to help them become more included both in their own community and in the wider digital community.

Lynne added: “By signing up to TEC in housing, it will enable us to continue incorporating digital practices and procedures into the heart of our services.

“Signing up will also provide us with the opportunity to ask questions to experts and interact with partners whilst being inspired by others in the housing and care industry.”

The framework includes seven main considerations that any housing organisations will need to build in when they are developing their housing association’s approach to TEC, no matter how large or small their plans may be.

Geraldine Begg from the national TEC in Housing programme said: “We are delighted that Bield Housing and Care has signed up to the Technology Enabled Care (TEC) in Housing Charter.

“In signing up, Bield Housing and Care is demonstrating its commitment to developing and delivering innovative services.

“The shift to a community- based approach to wellbeing coupled with the use of technology is essential to reversing current trends and enabling more people to live fulfilling, independent lives in their own homes and communities.”

Bield’s use of technology supports its ‘Free to Be’ philosophy which promises to allow older people to live independent and fulfilled lives with help on hand, no matter what age they are.

To find out more about Bield and its BR24 service, visit https://www.bield.co.uk/housing-care/other-services/response-24

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Emma Lourie is an Account Executive at Edinburgh Public Relations agency, Holyrood PR in Scotland

Emma Lourie

Account Executive, Emma Lourie, is a part of the award-winning PR agency, Holyrood PR - based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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