Bield Sure Call service makes 29,000 reassuring calls in its’ first year

by Raymond Notarangelo

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Bield's BR24 Sure Call An innovative call service for tenants in Retirement Housing is proving a smart solution for the sector with 29,000 calls made in its’ first year.

Sure Call, developed by Bield Response 24 (BR24), offers an automated daily call service that checks-in with people to see if they are in need of assistance, reducing the need for manual checks by development managers and saving hours of valuable staff time.

The technology-led automated service, launched in May 2013, has generated 29,000 calls in the first 12 months and allows tenants to have calls sent to their home telephone or mobile phones via a call or text message.

BR24, based in Glasgow, is managed by Bield Housing & Care, Scotland’s leading social care and housing provider, which prides itself on being an innovator in the social care sector.

Sure Call, which works in partnership with call centre technology leaders Jontek, automatically calls Bield tenants on their home or mobile phone number either on a daily basis or specific days they have requested.

When tenants receive a call they press 1 on the telephone pad if everything is ok and 2 if they need assistance, which in turn sends an alert to BR24. There is also a facility to call people on their mobiles or send text messages. Tenants have the facility to choose what days they would like a call, and if they are away from home for any reason, they will not get a call on these days as long as BR24 have been made aware in advance.

If a tenant does not respond to the two automated calls made, BR24 contact local staff or named contacts to check on their well-being. There is no charge for the service and tenants can opt in or out as they wish.

The number of staff hours Sure Call saves has not yet been quantified; however, 51 Retirement Housing developments can be contacted in approximately 35 minutes. It is estimated to take a manager 1 hour to call round each tenant in just one development, even longer, if in the process tenants requested assistance or have to deal with other issues, so this new service offers a great saving on the manager’s time.

Modern, flexible and sustainable

Cuts in government funding coupled with rising demands on the sector has increased the importance of using technology and BR24 believe their service, which works alongside the more traditional warden call systems, offers a modern, flexible and sustainable solution.

Sharon Ewen of BR24 said: “The Sure Call service signifies the way forward for our sector as it increases the amount of time our trained development staff have with tenants. Time is now utilised by having more face to face contact with our tenants and improving on our housing management and property services for the developments, which is a vital part of Retirement Housing.

“We’re delighted with the first year of the service and even more satisfied with the number of successful calls that have been made. We have already improved upon the service by offering medication reminder prompts and will explore extending to afternoon or evening calls as the service evolves.

“Sure Call has provided a fantastic solution and can flexibly fit with the needs of individual tenants.”

BR24 are the first in the UK to use the Jontek Automated Reassurance Call solution and initially only offered the service to Bield residents in response to the introduction of Bield’s Retirement Housing model in Scotland. Through the successful introduction of the Sure Call service, BR24 are now in negotiations with other service providers looking to use our automated daily call service.

John Mooney, Managing Director at Jontek, added: Congratulations to Bield Housing & Care for the successful implementation of their Sure Call Service. This is a great example of partnership working between ourselves and Bield and demonstrates how this approach can lead to the “right first time” successful project.”

Bield – a registered charity in their 43rd year of business – has grown from humble beginnings, opening its first housing development in Bo’ness to become a major provider of a wide range of housing and care services for around 20,000 older people across 22 local authorities.

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Raymond Notarangelo

Raymond Notarangelo, co-founded Scottish PR agency, Holyrood PR after spotting a gap for colourful and innovative public relations in Edinburgh. He now leads a team providing media relations, social media, video, photography, brand newsrooms, crisis communication and media relations.

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