Dispersed Alarm Partnership between Link and Falkirk Council: Streamlining Services for Customers.
Collaboration between Link and Falkirk Council eliminated the need for two dispersed alarm units. This case study highlights the advantages of a streamlined approach, avoiding complex processes in housing associations.
Link is in the process of upgrading the analogue warden call system in their older person’s housing developments to a modern digital dispersed alarms system. This transition marks a significant step forward in modernising services for customers and enhancing their safety and well-being.
Striving for continuous improvement and customer satisfaction, Link engaged with their customers to encourage them to become involved in testing digital dispersed alarms. Volunteers through a process of live testing and evaluation, helped in the decision making process of confirming dispersed alarms as the alternative system of choice to the existing warden call system.
During testing of the dispersed alarm units, it was discovered that some customers within the Falkirk Council area already had alarm units linked to their responder service. This discovery presented an opportunity for Link to explore a partnership with Falkirk Council to simplify service provision for these customers.
Prior to the trial, several issues emerged:
- Supply: Customers had two units in their homes, including two pendants and two power sources,
- Communication: Setup caused confusion among customers regarding when to use each pendant for either the responder service or Link staff.
- Equipment: Link had limited awareness of the equipment installed in their customers’ homes.
- Upgrade: As part of the digital upgrade, Link needed to install a dispersed alarm unit to monitor fire and smoke detection in individual flats and communal areas.
The advantages of having one point of contact for customers seeking assistance include:
- Streamlined equipment: Customers have a single pendant and power supply.
- Dedicated communication channel: Bield Response 24 (BR24), which monitors Link developments, has a dedicated telephone line to contact Falkirk’s responder service directly.
- Efficient customer identification: Client records at BR24 hold a unique reference number for Link customers, ensuring quick access to their details when calling Falkirk’s responder service.
- Real-time reporting: BR24 provides Link with real-time reports on responder callouts, while Falkirk’s responder service registers all calls at their Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) with voice recording at both ARC locations.
- Situation assessment: BR24 assesses situations and deploys resources, including the responder service if necessary.
- On-site staff assistants: Development staff can help in certain situations, potentially preventing the need for a responder visit.
- Comprehensive customer data: BR24 stores customer details, including main door access, property access, and ongoing issues, facilitating quick assistance.
- Direct communication: On-site staff can contact the responder service directly, reducing unnecessary visits through ensuring situational assessment.
- Efficient service management: A streamlined process is in place to withdraw services when a tenancy ends, making services available for others.
- Faster referrals: Staff at the development can refer new/ existing tenancies directly, expediting the process.
- Equipment savings: No need for Falkirk Council to install additional equipment like units and pendants, allowing them to allocate resources elsewhere.
The following process was used by Link to integrate Falkirk Council’s responder service:
- Referral system: Link established a referral system that informs Link Housing about customers receiving responder services within their developments, ensuring full awareness.
- New connections and terminations: Link implemented a streamlined process to manage new connections and service terminations effectively.
- Direct communication protocol: Link established a protocol, allowing BR24 (ARC) to directly contact Falkirk Council’s responder service when their tenants require assistance.
- Referral by Link staff: Link staff can make direct referrals to the responder service, enabling quick response to any changes in customer conditions and facilitating assistance for new residents in our developments.
- Customer notification to BR24: Link set up a process to promptly inform BR24 when a Link customer connects to the responder service, including their unique reference number.
- Compatibility with telecare devices: Additional telecare devices, such as fall detectors and door open alerts, are designed to be compatible with the manufacturers used by Link for their dispersed alarm units.
Gary Baillie, TAPPI Programme & BR24 Service Manager for Bield, said: “The collaboration of everyone involved made this a success, seamlessly connecting services together to ensure the customer receives a high standard of service.”
In conclusion, the successful trail has led to Falkirk Council and Link agreeing to adopt this streamlined process. This case study will be shared with other local authorities and housing associations to prevent use of two dispersed alarm units and the complexity of multiple customer service processes.