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SAFETY & SECURITY SYSTEMS Always on Call


Ridge and Partners LLP (Ridge) is an award-winning, multidisciplinary property and construction consultancy. Here, Ridge’s Andrew Bray,


Associate and Healthcare Lead, and Dan Sullivan, Senior Electrical Design Engineer, explain the latest advances in safety and security systems.


The use of technology has revolutionised how care homes are providing superior and, more importantly, safer environments. One of the latest innovations in safety and security is Wi-Fi- based nurse calling systems. This technology is allowing call systems to work harder than they have ever done before, offering even more benefits to care providers.


Rising costs is one of the biggest issues facing the sector and providers are always looking for ways to save time and money in the long run. One of the most effective benefits from a Wi-Fi network-based nurse call system is the commercial savings. Wi-Fi-based systems improve overall operational costs, requiring significantly less maintenance than traditional systems, reducing overall life-cycle costs and offering providers better value for money.


We know it is essential for care homes to remain open and operational during upgrade work, with minimal disruption to residents. Unlike traditional systems, there is no requirement for standalone infrastructure or any points to be installed. This reduces the overall installation time, meaning the impact on staff and residents is minimal. Reliability of the system is also vastly improved, with system faults and alarms easy to identify at exact locations and the ability to make quick replacements.


Wireless nurse call systems use a Wi-Fi system to allow residents to call for assistance. Although still popular, pendants are becoming much smaller and more discreet. We also have the technology to link them to the building itself.


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With full Wi-Fi coverage throughout a building, a resident can be monitored 24/7, meaning, when residents reach certain areas such as liſts or doors, a member of staff is notified. This is particularly useful in areas of restricted access and in homes providing care for dementia patients. We are seeing the system used more and more in areas used by high-risk or severely frail patients and residents. Devices such as pressure mats within beds and chairs can also be installed to enable the system to monitor if a patient or resident has fallen and immediately alert a member of staff.


The infrastructure required to operate this system is traditionally provided on a separate standalone IT network using infrared detectors or radio transmitters. As technology advances and moves to IP-based systems, nurse call systems can seamlessly use the Wi-Fi network to collect and monitor data. This advance can be vital in improving the care given, helping medical staff to closely monitor patients. This is particularly relevant in dementia care, and the system has been used to help staff to better understand issues for dementia patients, such as irregular sleeping patterns.


Many care providers are looking for expert guidance on how best to manage their properties, including navigating the latest in safety and security systems. As well as upgrading older properties, Ridge also works with providers to create more innovative, bespoke and modern facilities.


www.ridge.co.uk www.tomorrowscare.co.uk


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