Blackwood 24/7 digital response service

Blackwood Housing and Care has recorded a 96 per cent drop in GP and emergency calls and a 98 per cent customer satisfaction rating after introducing a digital support service providing round-the-clock support for people with disabilities.

The service, which was developed by the independent living specialist, allows people with disabilities to access remote care 24 hours of the day seven days a week – eliminating the need for staff to be called out or for emergency services to be alerted.

Customers have immediate access to care and support – if, for example, they have a medical issue or simply feeling anxious – via video call at the click of a button, with the service provider answering over 2,500 calls per month, with 78 per cent answered within one minute.

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Blackwood first introduced a ‘Night Support Service (NSS)’ in 2016 with four customers before transitioning into ‘24/7 Support Service’ in October 2020.

The service has since resulted in a 96 per cent drop in GP and other emergency calls, with customer levels rising by 60 per cent, expanding beyond Edinburgh since launching.

With a growing waiting list and the 24/7 service being extended to customers in Glasgow and Stirling, Blackwood now hopes to offer the facility to other housing and care organisations across Scotland.

Elaine Willis, Enhanced Team Leader at 24/7, said: “The technology and innovation of our service is the way forward as we are able to resolve issues and identify problems before they become a major issue.

“I’ve worked in the care industry for more than 35 years and I think this is the right direction for the service.

“Customers with complex needs, who live on their own, often get frustrated or nervous – but by being able to speak directly and immediately with a comforting voice the situation can frequently be resolved.

“The service undergoes assessments, installations and troubleshooting to make sure all the systems are working at their optimum. We also go out to meet the customers face to face to get to know individuals and give the reassurance that we are always on hand.

“The pandemic escalated the number of service users and has helped transform the support service. It is great to give customers the confidence that someone will be on call to help them 24 hours of the day, seven days a week.”

Blackwood has a longstanding history of creating quality, innovative, and accessible homes that people of all ages and mobility levels can enjoy. In July, the housing and care provider began construction of 22 accessible homes on the site of a former care home in Greenock, west Scotland.

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