Both residents and professionals are increasingly recognising the role of technology in enabling people to remain independent. Technology means we can work smarter, reducing labour intensive services and deploying care where it’s needed most.
Peter Smith, Independent Living and Homelessness Manager, RBH
RBH (Rochdale Boroughwide Housing) is England’s first co-owned mutual housing society, established in 2012 and now managing 13,000 homes and employing over 560 people. RBH Response supports more than 1,600 people with community alarms, telecare and a response service, helping them to remain independent and safe at home.
Approximately 42% of RBH’s tenants are aged over 55, and this is likely to increase. How is RBH using technology as part of its support for older people who find that they need more care and support to stay at home?
What We Did
RBH’s corporate strategy for 2018 to 2021 ‘Together’, sets out how it will deliver its services and ambitions over the next 10 years. This includes providing age-friendly environments and ensuring RBH is a successful organisation that is resilient to future challenges.
As BT has announced its plans to complete the move from an analogue to an IP communications network by 2025, RBH has begun to lay the foundations for a more digital future. Community alarm and telecare calls to RBH are managed on its behalf by Tunstall Response, which has recently upgraded to PNC8 monitoring centre software. PNC8 is capable of supporting end-to-end IP operation, and RBH Response is beginning to invest in digital solutions such as the Lifeline Smart Hub to future-proof its assets and improve the service it offers to residents.
RBH continues to explore and invest in a range of new technology, seeking ways that digital solutions can be combined to create personalised support based on what the service user wants and needs. It plans to increase its use of mobile solutions, using GPS to protect people when they are away from home, especially in the semi rural areas of the borough. It is also keen to introduce more GSM and IP based solutions, which reduce reliance on traditional landlines, meaning technology can be used more flexibly.