Sheffield City Council – Tunstall Response hosted monitoring solution
“Our relationship with the team at Tunstall Response is transparent, professional and positive. Any issues are few and far between and are always resolved quickly and efficiently. We have an excellent working relationship, with both parties working hard to deliver a fantastic service to our customers and one which is focused on continually evolving and improving.”
Stephen Cullen, Team Manager, City Wide Care Alarms
In common with local authorities across England, Sheffield City Council has been subject to budget cuts in recent years, affecting some of its services. As a result, in 2012/2013, the Council’s City Wide Care Alarms service was required to examine ways in which it could operate more cost effectively, and so began to explore options for delivering the service in a different way. In early 2013, the Council undertook a procurement exercise, meeting with three telecare monitoring providers, and choosing Tunstall Response for the delivery of the five-year contract due to its superior infrastructure, procedures and service delivery.
How has City Wide Care Alarms worked with Tunstall to ensure that outsourcing its service has led to increased efficiency and customer satisfaction?
In April 2013, following the award of the contract, Tunstall Response and City Wide Care Alarms began to work together to review processes and develop protocols, with a view to Tunstall Response handling out of hours’ calls (5.15pm – 7.00am during the week, plus weekends and Bank Holidays) from September 2013 onwards. However, subsequent staff reductions at City Wide Care Alarms meant that this service needed to commence in June 2013, and so Tunstall Response increased resource to ensure this deadline could be met. Within a short space of time, hardware and software was installed at City Wide Care Alarms’ Sheffield monitoring centre to ensure compatibility and seamless switch over to and from Tunstall Response, operators were trained, protocols agreed and systems tested in order to maintain continuity of service. Following this transfer of out of hours calls to Tunstall Response, further staff reductions were required at City Wide Care Alarms, and the monitoring service was fully outsourced from September 2013.
In addition to handling calls, Tunstall Response liaises with City Wide Care Alarms’ team of responders, who are on duty 24 hours a day. This entails liaising with responders to ensure they are directed appropriately, including triaging calls; for example, ensuring that situations involving a fall are prioritised over those due to personal care needs.
Key statistics 2013-2014
- Approximately 8,000 connections
- Number of connections increasing by an average of 20 each month
- Average of 22,500 calls per month
- Average of 950 calls requiring a responder per month
- Average of 250 calls relating to falls each month
- Approximately 300 no voice calls every month
When the service commenced meetings with Tunstall Response and City Wide Care Alarms were held every two weeks to review progress. This has since reduced to once a month, with a procedural review every six months and an annual report each December.
As a Telecare Services Association accredited monitoring centre, Tunstall Response works to Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) which measure its performance, including metrics such as time taken to answer calls. In addition to this, a Service Level Agreement is in place to ensure Tunstall Response is meeting its contractual obligations to City Wide Care Alarms.
A customer satisfaction survey was undertaken by City Wide Care Alarms in 2015, with questionnaires being sent to a random sample of 1,000 customers. A total of 414 questionnaires were received and analysed, although not every person answered every question.
- 96% (398 people) were satisfied or very satisfied with alarm call phone response time
- 96% were satisfied or very satisfied with the way they were spoken to over the phone
- 96% were satisfied or very satisfied with the overall call response
- 95% were satisfied or very satisfied with the City Wide Care Alarms Service
The service is currently seeing average growth of 20 connections each month, and as a result of this success City Wide Care Alarms plans to increase its number of connections by 2,000 in the next two years. Tunstall Response is working closely with them to help them achieve this goal and ensure more people in Sheffield can benefit from the support and reassurance brought by the service.
Blog – Tunstall Response – making a difference every day
Bev Mundy, Manager at Tunstall Response, talks about her work providing community alarm, telecare and telehealth monitoring services to people across the UK.
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Our Connected Care solutions have been designed to support a wide range of people, including older people, people at risk of falls, people with limited mobility, people with learning disabilities, people with dementia and people with conditions such as epilepsy.