Pinpoint system addresses staff safety problem

The failure of a personal safety alarm system to live up to the supplier’s promises has seen care home operator, Millennium Care, replace it with a Pinpoint Staff Personal Safety Alarm System at its Sunnyborough facility near Goole in Yorkshire, a specialised care home for adults with conditions ranging from autism to learning difficulties, and with ‘very complex needs and extremely challenging backgrounds’. Rachel Blackburn, head of Care Homes for Millennium Care, said: “Many residents are prone to very challenging behaviour, which can expose staff to assault from (‘usually unintentional’) outbursts of violent activity. Staff need to be able to covertly summon help immediately to de-escalate difficult situations, and equally to be able to summon a ‘crash team’ in a non-emergency situation, either due to a threat to staff or other residents, or in a patient health emergency. In both instances, the alarm needs to be raised from a person-worn device because often the ‘threat’ could physically be in between the staff member and a wall-mounted call button.”

She continued: “In 2013, on opening Sunnyborough, we installed a staff personal

part-way through to accommodate a new extension.

safety alarm system, but it proved awful – staff would pull the alarm but sometimes nothing happened. With help thus not arriving, our staff got assaulted.” Having worked fruitlessly with the manufacturer for nearly three years ‘to try make the system work’, Millennium recognised it must replace it. With its MD having seen the Pinpoint system in action, it investigated it, ‘and found nothing but positive experiences from its many users’. It was installed ‘with no fuss’ – including a modification to the requirement

‘Hotel-feel’ for well-lit retirement ‘village’

High levels of natural light and ventilation |are the hallmarks of Tree Top Village in Newcastle, a retirement village ‘with an inspirational design’ that roof window supplier, Velux says ‘achieves its goal’ through extensive use of Velux Modular Skylights. The award-winning ‘village’, designed

by architects, ID Partnership, is reportedly the UK’s first of its kind, and is focused on delaying the onset of dementia. High daylight levels are achieved via a central four-storey atrium with 60 Velux ridgelights, complemented by 10 Velux longlights providing additional illumination in areas away from the atrium. All were installed by Glazing Systems & Installations, a ‘key Velux partner’. Velux said: “The ridglelights and longlights help this exemplar mixed-use retirement village, managed by Your Homes Newcastle (YHN), make extensive use of natural light, which recent research shows has beneficial effects on the patient wellbeing and recovery. The new ‘village’s design was ‘influenced’ by Dr Hans Becker, ‘a leading expert in the retirement industry’. Velux explained: “Meeting Dr Hans Marcel Becker’s philosophy involved designing the atrium and rooflights to create a ‘contemporary hotel-feel’, encouraging residents to actively engage and participate, and ensuring that each apartment overlooks the main thoroughfare, reinforcing the community feel.” Tree Top Village, which provides 111 accommodation units exclusively for over-

55s or people with an assessed medical need, is reportedly unique in opening up its community and retail facilities to the public, accentuating the ‘village’ atmosphere. Alongside 75 one- and two-bedroom apartments, and 36 one and two-bedroom homes and eight bungalows, the village incorporates four retail units, a multi- purpose medical room, and a ‘reminiscence museum’ containing familiar household and consumer objects – to help trigger memories for Dementia and Alzheimer’s sufferers, and act as a ‘conversation piece’. The Velux Modular Skylights team worked with Wates Construction to value engineer the original curtain walling design envisaged for the rooflights. Velux presented the benefits of its self-supporting ridgelights for the central atrium. Being self- supporting meant they eliminated the need for a steel sub-frame support system.

Rachel Blackburn said: “With the Pinpoint system we’ve had not a single instance when it hasn’t raised the alarm. Our staff finally feel perfectly safe – they know that their body-worn personal infrared transmitter will summon help immediately every time.” This is in an environment where residents with challenging behaviour ‘probably generate five incidents per week when staff need to use their PIT to summon urgent assistance’. “Thankfully,” Rachel Blackburn added, “due to the Pinpoint system’s reliability and speed, most such incidents now only require ‘help to de-escalate’ alarms. True emergency calls are much less frequent, but when they do happen, Pinpoint raises the alarm via audible alarms, graphic displays in strategic locations, and flashing overdoor lights in the corridor outside the room – all combining to ensure the crash team gets to the correct room within seconds. This means less danger to our staff, less for our other residents, and – because situations can be defused more quickly – far less likelihood of the other residents becoming disturbed.”

Stanley Security to partner Oxehealth

Stanley Security it to partner with software manufacturer, Oxehealth, ‘to supply advanced patient care and staff safety systems for the UK mental health sector’. Oxehealth’s technology sees secure optical sensors placed in a room to enable monitoring of human activity and vital signs ‘totally contact-free’, alerting staff to potential safety events, enabling remote taking of medical grade heart and breathing rate observations, and providing ‘smart activity reports’.

Oxehealth and Stanley Security added: “The system raises alerts on detecting high-risk activity, helping to prevent serious incidents. Handover reports provide objective data on patient activity, particularly at night. The software gives clinicians more time for hands-on care.” “We are delighted to be working with Oxehealth on this and other systems for healthcare,” said Derek McLean, head of Technology Solutions, Stanley Security. “We have an excellent pedigree in this market – from safety and security to asset management systems. However, there has been a sea change in the company, with a focus on innovation and collaboration with organisations outside our industry. We want to add value to security systems and engage a wider audience. Working with Oxehealth is a prime example of how we’re now approaching R&D. It’s exciting and challenging, but the results so much more rewarding.”


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