By Colin Hartley
It is just before 7am and the early shift are arriving at the Carecall and Concierge control centre to start their shift. The nightshift performs the handover and reports any outstanding issues before heading home to their beds.
Once the handover is complete the jobs for the day are issued and the day begins.
Running the shift is the Team Leader who is responsible for the day-to-day running of the shift. Calls will be handled by the day controller, a Carecall and Concierge Officer (previously known as a Mobile Warden), working in the office for the day. The Team Leader and day controller are supported by three other Carecall and Concierge Officers who will assist in handling calls until it is time for their morning tasks. The three Officers will split the day’s jobs, one will deal with new installations and any technical calls, one will be responsible for emergency visits that come up during the day and the last will be responsible for any visits to Stockport Homes’ sheltered housing schemes. Each Officer swaps role every day to ensure that everyone is able to carry out every job.
Not long after getting settled into the shift the first emergency call of the day is received. A client has fallen in the bathroom of her home. The controller establishes that the client isn’t hurt and immediately dispatches two Carecall and Concierge Officers to assist. The Carecall and Concierge service is based in Bredbury and the client is in Bramhall. Despite the peak hour traffic the Officers get there in good time.
On arrival the Officers make an assessment of the customer and use the Carecall ELK lifting cushion to lift the client from the floor in a safe and controlled manner. Once the customer is at a seated height she is able to stand and move to a chair. The Officers check that the customer is alright and offer to contact her family. With this done it’s time to complete the paperwork before returning to the office.
On their way back to the office the Carecall and Concierge Officers are asked to check on the welfare of another client. This gent’s family, who live in Birmingham, have been trying to telephone him for over a day without success and are getting concerned about him. Upon arrival the Officers knock but don’t get an answer. Luckily this customer has a Carecall keysafe fitted and the Officers are able to use this to access the property. They are pleased to find the client in bed having a lie in. They check the telephone at the property and find that the cordless phone has been unplugged and lost its charge. They quickly turn it back on again and advise the customer that his family will ring him this morning before contacting the office to make sure the worrying relatives are notified that all is ok.
Another good job done, so it’s back to the office for a quick brew before heading out again to complete the days jobs.
Back at the office the controller has just taken a call from a smoke detector fitted in a customer’s property. The controller tries to contact the customer via the unit but is unable to confirm that the call is a false alarm. The controller quickly rings the Fire Brigade who dispatch an engine to check on the property.
The Fire Brigade is onsite within minutes at the house and everything is ok. A small fire had been caused by a faulty toaster, but there was no smoke damage and nobody was hurt. The controller offers to ring the customers’ family and is asked to do so.
The Officers who have already been out then prepare their equipment for the remainder of the morning ahead and set off to their jobs. One Officer will spend the remainder of the morning installing two new alarms for Carecall customers. The other is on his way to Marple to check on the residents of a sheltered housing scheme.
Back at the office the controller has been joined by another call handler to help her with the calls during the day. With a Carecall and Concierge Officer and Team Leader also in the office this means that there are four people available to take the calls as they come in. By having flexible staff and increasing the number of operators during the busy times Carecall are able to answer over 98.2% of their calls within 60 seconds (1 April 2014 – 31 March 2015), which is above the industry standard.
Whilst the calls come in the Team Leader is processing the days emails, these include requests for new installations as well as important updates for the team to be informed of. One of these updates concerns a bogus caller who has been preying on elderly people in the Stockport area. The Team Leader makes sure these details are included in the briefing at shift handover so that the Carecall and Concierge Officers can warn people when they visit them.
The Officers spend the remainder of their shift visiting customers in their homes to carry out installations and maintenance of Carecall units. The Officers spend hours each week driving around Stockport and this really helps them when it comes to attending emergency call outs. In 2014/15 Carecall wardens attended over 98% of their emergency calls within 45 minutes of being deployed.
Time flies on a busy shift and before long it is fast approaching 2.30pm. Staff return from their tasks to the office in time for the handover to the late shift. The Team Leader briefs the oncoming shift and discusses the mornings work with the early shift. At 3pm the late shift take over and the early shift heads off home in the knowledge that they have done a good job, but that at 7am in the morning it will all begin again…