Care Home bosses ensure important milestones aren’t missed after installing new tech.

More than 100 care home residents in were given a lifeline to the outside world during the latest lockdown thanks to brand new tech installed by MRD Technologies.

Whilst visitors, family and friends had limited access to Christopher Grange in West Derby during the three lockdowns due to government restrictions, bosses at the residential and nursing home worked to connect residents with the outside as safely and quickly as possible – ‘virtually’.

With no reliable, consistent wifi throughout the estate, which is part of the Catholic Blind Institute (CBI) in Liverpool, and restrictions on visits and face-to-face meetings, Bob Birchall, CBI’s Chief Executive, said something needed to happen to update their existing wifi.

Bob said: “As a care provider we understand how important it is for residents to see their loved ones. Whilst we had to protect residents and staff, we also wanted to set up ‘virtual visits’ but our wifi wasn’t able to cope with the demand – it simply didn’t reach every area and we couldn’t guarantee signal which we were finding was very frustrating and disheartening for the residents and their families.”

CBI found that the effect on having residents in-situ for such prolonged periods and staff not always being able to connect with agencies, stakeholders and other health services in the normal way, meant the lockdown presented unique challenges for the home, which cares for up to 106 residents.

“Installing tech during this time wasn’t going to be easy with all the restrictions in place,” added Bob. “But we knew we needed to get communication technologies up to speed so we could all feel connected in here, whilst the pandemic was happening out there!”

Working with technology providers MRD Technologies, based in Northwich, the team and residents now have full access to a host of services available via the internet to allow them to do on-line meetings, video calls, streaming services or simply connecting email.

Mark Ralph director at MRD said: “We work with a number of charities who had vulnerable people in their care – so lockdown was a challenge for many, but Christopher Grange was in need of a quick solution. To lower cost and allow a quicker installation, we worked to install access points around the site which meant we minimised cabling and therefore the disruption to the day-to-day running of the home. It’s so important to us that we work alongside our clients and this was a very successful partnership indeed.”

Now staff don’t have to go to one part of the building to do work and residents can pick up their tablet or phone and connect with their loved ones more freely.

Bob added: “We all know how important wifi is but especially during the lockdown, we felt it even more and from the feedback we have had from many families, it really was a huge comfort to them too. MRD were respectful and understanding throughout and have worked closely with us to ensure the privacy and dignity of our residents. It really has been a massive step forward for us all.”

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