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Council using technology to support people with complex needs

St Helens Council has teamed up with Torus Group and Tunstall Healthcare to help people who need support to live independently.
Pictured are marketing images of the Tunstall project at Heathside in St Helens

The organisations have worked together with the NHS and other specialist partners to implement key technologies to regenerate a former care home that will become a safe and comfortable housing option for adults with complex care and emotional needs.

Following major remodeling of the former care home in the heart of St Helens, the scheme which is now known as Heathside has created eight assisted living apartments that also enjoy communal areas such as lounge, kitchen and dining room.

To appropriately safeguard tenants, whilst enabling them to live independently, the apartments have been fitted with a telecare system that allows tenants to easily request assistance in an emergency, but also provide discreet technology enabled care able to be tailored to their individual needs.

Andrea Boughey, Learning Disability Autism and Mental Health Transformation Lead for the Integrated Commissioning Team at St Helens Council explains: “Heathside is the first pilot project in St Helens that has incorporated such a large amount of specialised technology and will provide homes to people who have previously been living in NHS facilities, out of borough accommodation or those taking the first step towards independence by moving out of their family home.

“This new environment will not only be able to be configured to meet the needs of its first residents but will also be able to adapt over time as their needs change to offer a balance of freedom and support they may never have experienced before.”

The technology within Heathside includes fall detectors, epilepsy sensors and door exit alarms that would automatically alert staff and allow them to respond appropriately. The system also needed to integrate into other onsite technology, such as access control, fire safety and ligature alarm systems.

Cheshire and Mersey Integrated Care Board’s Housing Lead, Sarah Houghton-Grimshaw said: “We wanted to offer a high quality environment that enabled a least restrictive approach, and technology played a key role in this. Tunstall worked closely with us and other partners to create a bespoke solution which enables tenants to have more freedom and choice whilst remaining safe.”

Paula Underwood, Torus Group Head of Torus Support Network, continued: “It was important to us that the residents could live with the least number of restrictions in place.  The telecare solution we sought, not only needed to provide an emergency call system, but also needed to assist in providing discreet technology enabled care, and most importantly, be a non-invasive way of keeping people safe in their home.

“The innovative system allows the staff to be alerted to the movements of residents and to respond to those movements without restricting people unnecessarily.

“We are grateful to telecare providers, Tunstall, who worked with Torus, HMS and the other specialist companies to use technologies in innovative and unique ways.”

Michael Hatton, Regional Contracts Manager at Tunstall Healthcare added: “The installation of our bespoke technology allows staff at the Heathside to be alerted to the movements of tenants and to respond to those movements without restricting people unnecessarily, meaning care can be targeted where it’s needed most. This increases freedom and choice and gives staff greater insight into how and when tenants need support.”

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